Friday, March 19, 2010

Mochai (Hyacinth bean) Rice in a pressure cooker

The place in this post is a school in the outskirts of Coimbatore near the foothills of the Western Ghats. Sra and Kay you were both pretty close.

dried mochai

Mochai and Avrakkai (both hyacinth beans) had me confused like no other. I was talking to my inlaws and they explained it to me.

cooked mochai

Mochai beans are a type of avrakkai whose pods are tough and cannot be eaten even when they are tender and grown for the beans. And the other varieties of avrakkai are grown for the pods and even when mature the pods are still edible.

saute the onions for the paste

I remember fresh mochai beans as being available in January around Sankranti. Mochai with brinjals was the most popular pairing cooked in a spicy tamarind gravy.

make the paste

Now getting fresh mochai beans is possible only in my dreams and till a few years ago the same was true for the dried beans as well.

onions and chilies for the rice

Then one day I found a packet at an Indian grocery store and pounced on it with glee but when I went back a while later when mine ran out they were no where to be found. Now I have a found a regular source for these beans.

heat oil, add the seasonings and saute the onions

I have a stash in the pantry though I don't cook them that often.

add the beans and the paste

add the rice

add water, let it come to a boil, add the weight and let cook for 8 minutes

cooked rice

Bharathy over at Spicy Chilly had a recipe for Mochai Sadam which I wanted to try the minute I saw it and the added bonus Nupur's Blog Bites event where the theme is Pressure Cookers. With sambhar powder in the mix I could not ignore it could I?

Serve with yogurt and vadagam

Mochai Sadam
1. 1 cup of mochai beans soaked overnight
2. 1 1/2 cups of rice (I used ponni raw rice)
3. 2 tbsp onions chopped
4. 4 green chilies slit
5. 2 - 3 garlic cloves minced
6. seasonings: curry leaves and mustard
7. ghee or oil

For the paste
1. 10 small onions (I used frozen) or 1/2 cup chopped red onions
2. 1 tsp cumin seeds
3. 1 tbsp curry leaves powder (or use 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves)
4. 1/2 tbsp sambhar powder
5. 2 tsp turmeric powder

Saute the red onions till they are browned , add the cumin seeds and saute for a minute. Add the powder, give a good mix and blend to a smooth paste without adding too much water.

1. Cook the mochai beans in the pressure cooker and set aside.
2. In the pressure cooker , add the ghee and when hot add the seasonings, when the mustard starts to splutter add the curry leaves followed by the onions, slit green chilies, saute till the onions are soft, add the slit green chilies and garlic.
3. Now add the beans, followed by the blended paste. Mix it well.
4. Add the rice and mix it gently so the masala paste is coated well.
4. Now add water just enough to cook the rice along with salt and let the water come to a boil. [Ponni rice require 1: 2 1/2 cups of water)
5. Close the lid, put the weight on and cook for 8 minutes (time may vary but cook for just enough time for the rice to be cooked)

Serve with yogurt and a few vadagams.


  1. I like the idea of using beans with rice ... am so bored of cooking them only as a dish by itself. Must try the masala of fried onions too. :-)

  2. I love lentils and rice cooked together. This looks so adorable.

  3. I don't think i have ever seen ot had this beans. I love rice made like this.I have this huge pressure cooker so it is not worthmaking thelittle rice i use for three of us here. Maybe next time when i go to India i should buy one of those small presure cooker . Especially for cooking dals etc...

  4. Thanks so much for the fabulous entry- I'll include it in the round-up!

    Mochai sure look like vaal, so flavorful. We usually use them sprouted which takes so effort in peeling. The day I discovered that I did not HAVE to sprout them was like a revelation to me :)

  5. Never made dried beans rice. Sometimes I use the frozen beans. I remember Sankranthi time is the season for this beans and my mom use to make this rice very often.

  6. Sharmila, you'd like it and if you have some pappads and yogurt on the side a comfort dish.

    Divya you won't be disappointed.

    HC, I know I have pressure cookers of all sizes 8,6,3,2 litres and a pressure pan :)

  7. Nupur, thanks. I was going to send the entry over this morning, I was half asleep when I finished the post yesterday.

    Yes! no need to sprout just soak, the dried split dal (the skin is removed) is a favorite back home, can be substituted for the whole beans here.

    Usha, yes not a regular so it is special I guess.

  8. I have never tried rice and mochai together .This looks yummy!

  9. I can have anything with hyacinth beans, rice looks yummy and delicious..

  10. Mochai sadam looks awesome. Love to mix beans in rice.

  11. Mochai rice is new to me Indo..We dont use it that much at home..May be in kootus..

    kerela is close to cbe..give or take a few 100 Kms :D

  12. Indo, You made my Day!!!..
    Did you like the sadham..(BTW) ;)??

    Yeah, the addition of sambhar podi made me too try the very next day I tasted this dish..
    Perfect entry for the event!! :)

  13. I love this idea. I would like to try this method with other beans too. It looks good.

  14. I loved the idea of using beans with rice... looks so yumm:)

  15. Delicious and flavorful rice :)

  16. beans and rice is one of my favorite combos! looks so delicious, i do not cook with hyacinth beans as much as i should, this recipe is just a perfect one to get me over my inertia.

  17. Oh, yeah, western ghats.Beautiful it is :-)
    Beans and rice is a great combo, but never cooked them like this.such a flavorful rice dish..

  18. Bharathy, thanks to you, we enjoyed the rice a lot, infact the whole family enjoyed it with relish.

  19. Mochai even though a seasonal one we have the dried spply all through the year. As u said the puli kuzambu with brinjals when paired with Ragil kali, I will be sold immediately. Sometimes amma would add dry fish too to the kolumbu. Never had rice this way and the simple flavors and the masala maks it more interesting.

  20. Loved the series of pics. Don't know about the beans though.

    And yeah, I should get a smaller p. cooker for such quick cooking. Mine is used with separators so I usually don't do sauteing/frying in it

  21. Wow! I love mochai but not had this since I left Chennai. now I know what to put on the shopping list for my friends :)

    love the biryani - looks really delicious!

  22. I love pulav/khichdi type rice items with good healthy add-ins. This will be on my list. Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)


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