Moth Beans with Seasonal Vegetables

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Serves 6.


100 g/31/2 oz/1/2 cup dried moth beans
220 g/7 oz cauliflower sprigs
220 g/7 oz tender green beans
125 g/4 oz carrot or potato
11/2 teaspoons salt

For seasoning
1 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon ajowan seeds
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala


Soak the beans overnight or for at least 5 hours. Drain, put into a saucepan with 2 cups water, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until tender but still holding their shape. Add the salt and cauliflower sprigs, the green beans cut into bite-sized pieces and carrot or potato, diced. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.

Prepare seasoning by heating ghee in a small pan. Add the seeds and cover pan to keep mustard seeds from spattering over the cooktop. When seeds have stopped popping add the asafoetida to the hot ghee, stir, and pour a ladle of the cooking liquid from vegetables into the seasoning. Return seasoning to the saucepan, stir well, and finally sprinkle with garam masala. Serve with rice, natural yoghurt and sweet or hot chutney.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)