A simple lunch with gawar sabzi

The gawar bean is definitely not a celebrated vegetable. It is a humble bean with a humble name. Gawar also means a simpleton in Hindi. Its funny to think someone came across a vegetable and decided to call it a simpleton. Although the English name - cluster bean makes sense. As per this wikipedia image, the beans grow in clusters.
The people who think they do not like this vegetable do not know the secret ingredients that make this vegetable taste like a million bucks. Jaggery and goda masala play really well with the slight bitter undertones of this vegetable and some nuttiness in the form of sesame seeds or peanuts also adds a delicious flavor to the sabzi.
This needs a little prep time, like all delicious vegetables (looking at you, methi!!). They need to be stringed and cut. But if you got your hands on tender and fresh beans, you will not have to struggle with tough strings and save on some prep time.
This is a distinctively Maharashtra style of sabzi with the very marathi spice "goda masala". Nowadays it is readily available at the indian grocery stores. It is a good spice blend to have in the pantry. It will add a new flavor to an everyday sabzi. I believe in switching things up every once in a while and having different spice blends makes that easy. I do tend to go overboard and buy every new "masala" I see but just a handful are enough to add variation to everyday food. I like to have a goda masala, sambar masala and paav bhaji masala in addition to the regular garam masala. Each of them have their distinctive flavor. On days when you do not want the same old sabzi, add a different masala and you have a new flavor!
Coming back to my lunch plate one afternoon, I just clicked the plate after taking a few bites. I thought the plate looked quite colorful with the mangoes and the vegetables.
cluster bean gawar bhaji

There is the gawar sabzi with yogurt, some mango slices sprinkled with tiny bit of salt and chili powder and some leftover matar paneer with rotis.

Gawar sabzi

3 cupschopped cluster beans
1 tbspoil
1/2 tspmustard seeds
1 tspsesame seeds
1/4 tspasafoetida
1/4 tspajwain (carom seeds)
3 clovesgarlic
1/2 tspturmeric powder
1/4 tspchili powder
1 tspsalt
2 tspjaggery
1 tspgoda masala
1 tbsplemon juice
1 tbspcrushed peanuts (optional)
  • Heat oil in a pan to prepare the tadka. Add mustard seeds and once they stop spluttering, add asafoetida, sesame seeds, ajwain and garlic
  • Work fast as tadka has a tendency to burn. Add the cubed potatoes with turmeric and chili powders.
  • Let them saute and coat with the spices for a couple of minutes
  • Add the chopped cluster beans. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium.
  • Add salt and jaggery and a couple of tablespoons of water.
  • Cover and cook for about 15 minutes on low flame till the potatoes are very soft and beans look cooked.
  • Add the goda masala, lemon juice and crushed peanuts if using. Mix well. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

  • Do not skip the jaggery and goda masala. It just won't be the same without them.
  • I like the version with peanuts better.


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