How many words do I need to express my love for Butter Beans! Butter Beans are a thing from childhood, which never fails to perk up my spirit! Butter Beans are not easily available in every other shop. So when Amma shops at those places where it's sold, she always ensured she gets a big batch for us. It was even more special she always used to make parotta along with this.
When we find the packet with these Butter Beans, we all used to fondly shell the beans from their pods. Those long white pods had these lovingly encased within. It's like nectar being enclosed and lets out to tease you and please you. This time when Amma got these, it's been a long while. Still, I didn't want to miss out on the parotta. She got these so cheerfully and placed them on the table! My twins immediately had a field day with these beans.
Though I love these beans to distraction, I have always known this cooked as kurma. But I have known this being cooked in a pulao or salad or however else you may like it. But let me tell you this kurma is the best way to cook this up! Since I didn't have time to prepare parotta and also as I have a big list of bread to be tried out, I made Tandoori Roti for accompanying this!
I searched the net for more information on Butter Beans. But I could only find it being referred to as Lima Beans, which is not what I have on hand. So if you are aware of what these beans are called, do let me know! I made it a point to click the pods with the beans. So please enrich me with more information! Locally these are called Butter Beans for their creamy texture and feel.
Preparation time: 5 mins
cooking Time : 10 - 15 mins in Pressure cooker
Serves - 3-4 persons one serve
Butter Beans - 250 gms
Onions - 2 small
Tomatoes - 2 medium
cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1"
Cardamom - 1
Ginger Garlic paste - 3/4 tsp
Coconut Paste - 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves - for garnish
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Method to prepare:
Shell the beans from the pods and wash well. Chop all the vegetables.
Heat the pan with oil. Add the whole spices. Fry for a min. Then saute the onions till pink. Add the Ginger Garlic paste and fry for another 2 mins or till the onions are well browned.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes. Add the salt and turmeric. Simmer for 5 mins. Then add the spice powders. Mix well and cook on high for 2 mins, while you are stirring it.
Add the beans to the tomato gravy and saute well. Make a paste of the coconut and fennel seeds. If you have fennel powder, then use the coconut paste and fennel powder. Let it cook for 1 min.
Add a cup of water to the pan. Cover with cooker lid and put it for 2 whistles. This does not need more whistle as beans are very soft and get cooked fast.
When you have the beans crunchy, it's tastier! so don't overcook it. At times, when the beans are less, we also use potatoes for a great combination!
For quick preparation, I normally store coconut paste and have ground fennel seeds. My Mixer does not grind small quantities. So we normally have these powdered in small batches and store them in airtight containers so that they don't lose their aroma!
Indian cooking is much easier if you plan and have things in handy!