Sep 10, 2007

Farasbi Harbhare bhaji

Some vegetables have no taste of their own, or they are really bland. No matter how many spices you add in them, they still remain bland.

For me and my hubby, Farasbi/French beans tops this "bland taste" list. I buy french beans in minimal quantity and use it in pav bhaji, kadhai vegetable, or rice dishes. However, my mom makes a unique combo using this veggie. She combines them with harbhare/black chana and spices them up with coconut, coriander mix. I remember my colleagues complimenting its taste and uniqueness whenever I carried it in my lunch box.

Since the time I have started blogging, I have pestered my mom for several recipes at odd times. I catch her online on Yahoo messenger alternate days, and almost every week there's a recipe request either for a blog event or for increasing my blog posts. Our conversation goes like this:
Me: Mom, tell me the recipe for Farasbi Harbhare vegetable.
Mom: Soak harbhare overnight.
Me: How much?
Mom: Approximately.
Me: What does approximately mean? Tell me, how much should I take to serve 2 people?
Mom: About 1/2 cup.
Me: ok..Then?
Mom: The next day, wash and cut farasbi. Cook both farasbi and harbhare in a pressure cooker.
Me: Hmmm..ok..(Frantically, noting all her instructions in a Word doc or Notepad, ignoring all the spelling mistakes).
Mom: Make a tempering and add vegetables to it. Next, add red chilli powder, salt, garam masala. (She's dictating all this at a super fast speed.)
Me: Go slow, go slow. And repeat the last sentence. How much red chilli and garam masala?
Mom: Andaje.. (meaning approximately)
Me: Aai, I told you "approximately" won't work. I don't want to mess up the dish. Plus, I want to post the recipe on my blog. I can't tell my readers to use approximate spices..They will stop visiting my blog.
Mom: (after much pondering)..Ok..Around 1/4 spoon red chilli, 1 tsp garam masala.
Me: Fine. Tell me the rest of the recipe.

And so, mom dictates the rest with some halts and questions from me. She uses a spicy mixture called 'vatan' in Marathi to spice up this dish. Here's a detailed recipe:

Farasbi Harbhare bhaji/French beans with black chickpeas

  1. Soak 1/2 cup black chickpeas in double the quantity of water, overnight.
  2. The next day, wash and cut the french beans in 1 inch pieces. You should have 1 cup of cut french beans.
  3. Drain the water from the soaked black chickpeas.
  4. Pressure cook the chickpeas and french beans for 2 whistles. You can either cook them together or in separate containers. Once cooked, drain the water and keep aside.
  5. Add 1/4 cup shredded coconut, 2-3 green chillies, and 10-12 coriander sprigs in a mixer/blender. Add water and blend into a paste. This is the spicy mixture or 'vatan' for the vegetable.
  6. Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. Make a tempering using 1 tsp mustard seeds, pinch of asafetida, and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
  7. Add the cooked french beans and chickpeas. Mix together.
  8. Next, add 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, salt to taste, 1 tsp garam masala, 1/4 tsp sugar, and 4 tsp peanut powder. Mix well.
  9. Add the spicy paste made in step 5.
  10. Add around 1/4 cup of water and mix again. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes.

Verdict: When I chatted with mom again, I told her the outcome of the vegetable. We loved it. We will be making this combo again and again. Do give it a try and enjoy its unique taste.


Rajitha said...

looks good swapna..there is a good mix of carbs and protein..will be making this..thanks for sharing

Nags said...

the only thing i make with beans is thoran, the typical kerala recipe.. maybe i shud diversify :D

bee said...

go on, you are allowed to say it. green beans are yucky. hope j isn't reading this. he loves them.

Roopa said...

nice combo :) looks delicious.

Sig said...

Lol Swapna.. all moms are alike :) It used to be so hard to get a recipe out of my mom, but after spending three months with me, she is an expert now :)... Your mom will get better at this soon too :)

Asha said...

Great combo Swapna.Looks like a delicious dish,yum!:))

Richa said...

hey, farasbi chana sounds like a great combo, love kala chana recipes :) me farasbi ani matki chi bhaji kartey, pan tyat shendana koot ghalat nahi, kadhi try kar if u like.

Sandeepa said...

Even I am not a big bean fan except for the quick bhaji. Soaking them looks like a great idea. Thanks to your Mom :)

Sandeepa said...

Thanks to your Mom, the soaking sounds like a great idea

Manasi said...

Bland veges!! yep!! I would add pumpkin to the list too!
Like the idea of a 'vatan', sure to add flavor to the veg!!! Thanx to ur Mum!!

Mishmash ! said...

You dont like French beans? :)
Moms always are so in love with this a bit of that and a tinge of this affair right ?:)
Btw I liked the new look of your blog :)


Tee said...

My exact same thoughts on farasbi! ;)and the conversation between your mom and you is exactly the kind of conversation i have with my mom :)
the bhaaji looks promising...i will try this out :)

musical said...

Wanna get some of this for my lunch! Frasabi ani matki, now that sounds good too. i make farasbi and vangi as well. love beans in any way!

Swapna said...

Rajitha:Thanks girl!Let me know how it turns out.

Nags:I haven't tried thoran. I am always searching for recipes for french beans. Will give it a try.

Bee: GREEN BEANS ARE YUCKY!I said it again:))

Roopa:Glad you find it delicious. Thanks for the comment.

Sig: I am not-so-patiently waiting for the time for my mom to learn the process:)

Asha: Thanks, girl!

Richa:Now, that seems like another interesting combo. Nakki try karen mi.

Sandeepa: Thanks for the comment, dear!Do try this veggie.

Manasi: Vatan adds a flavor to all veggies, na?I feel like adding it to every vegetable.Shall pass on the thanks to my mom:)

Mishmash: It's not that I hate french beans. It's just that it's not on my favorites list:)Thanks for noticing the new look.

Tee:Getting a single,simple recipe out from mom is hell of a task. Do try the veggie and let me know how you find it.

Musical: Farasbi and wangi sounds interesting. Though, I don't have much luck in cooking wangi:)

TheCooker said...

A vatan elevates any dish doesn't it.
The 'andaje' bit drives me nuts...especially if it is a new recipe.

Sharmi said...

what a combination! it looks good. I never used to have veggies when I was mommy's girl:) but things have changed.

Swapna said...

TC: Vatan takes vegetable tastes to a whole new level.

Sharmi: Thanks dear! I think things change when roles reverse, right?:)

jeena said...

Hi there you have a great blog,lovely recipes. Feel free to visit my blog too :)

Jeena xx

click here for food recipes

Anonymous said...

nice one i will definately try this