Yard long beans with tomato and a masala sauce of curry leaves, methi, Himalayan black salt, chile and jaggery! If you are looking for a different style of Indian vegetarian long bean recipe, then this one is a good choice!
Masala translates to "the base of or the start of." The word masala does not only apply to spice mixtures. The English pretty much named every Indian standard masala spice mixture and family spice mixture with the word curry. The Imperial English had a habit of oversimplifying foreign traditions to suit their own needs. I guess that it was easier to name every spice mixture that had a yellow color as curry, rather than to try to fully understand the history, tradition and complexity of each masala spice mixture.
The English word curry actually comes from the Indian word kari. Kari are the leaves of the black neem tree. Kari is known as curry leaves in English. Curry leaves are best when fresh. Curry leaves are fried in oil till they become crisp for the start of many recipes that require masala spice mixtures. Most western world recipes omit the required curry leaves in recipes, because they are very hard to find fresh. It is not a true kari recipe without curry leaves! Without required curry leaves, a traditional kari recipe will only taste like a western world buffet cook made the entree! That is why I only research Indian culinary literature when cooking and writing Indian recipes. I do have to use the computer translate option quite often. There is nothing like the real thing!
All of the ingredients in this recipe can be found at a good Indian market. Yard long beans can also be found in asian markets. Yard long beans are in the cowpea family and they have a rich tasty green bean flavor.
Jaggery is not raw sugar and it is not piloncillo. Jaggery is not processed in a centrifuge to separate the molasses and impurities from the raw sugar. Jaggery is concentrated cooked solid raw sugar that contains 50% sucrose and the rest is comprised of water, invert sugar, protein, ash and sugar cane fiber. Jaggery can be found at Indian and asian markets. If no jaggery is available, then substitute piloncillo or light brown sugar. The flavor of those two sugars are close to jaggery, but not quite as rich.
Many pre-made packaged breads are available at Indian markets. Thin crisp plain Kerala Pappadam is a nice choice for this long bean and tomato kura. Roti is also a good choice. Basmati rice is usually served on the side.
Barbati Tomato Kura Recipe:
Heat a wide pot over medium/medium low heat.
Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
Add 4 crushed garlic cloves.
Saute till the garlic starts to become golden in color.
Add 15 to 18 small fresh curry leaves.
Add 1 or 2 chopped red Thai finger chile peppers. (These are hot peppers! Add only enough to suit your personal taste!)
Saute till the curry leaves become crisp.
Add 1 small handful of coarsely chopped white onion.
Add 2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped green or red bell pepper. (Use seeded jalapeno if you really like hot spicy Indian food!)
Saute till the onions turn clear in color.
Add 1 finely chopped tomato.
Saute till the tomato starts to become tender.
Add 2 cups of yard long beans that are cut into bite size pieces.
Saute and stir, till the long beans start to cook.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of jaggery. (Substitute light brown sugar or piloncillo if none is available.)
Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
Add 3 pinches of ground fenugreek. (ground methi)
Add 2 pinches of coriander.
Add black pepper.
Add 1 pinch of crushed dried red pepper. (chile caribe)
Add 2 to 3 pinches of Himalayan black salt.
Note: Himalayan mountain salt actually has a pink or orange color. It has a high mineral and sulphur content that adds a very nice flavor to this recipe! Use sea salt if none is available.
Add 2 cups of water.
Reduce the temperature to low heat.
Simmer and stir occasionally, till the liquid reduces to about 1/2 cup and till the long beans become tender.
Add 4 to 5 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro just before serving.
Place the barbati tomato kura into a shallow serving dish.
Serve with and Indian bread of your choice and basmati rice on the side. (The bread in the photos was plain Kerala Pappadam.)
The flavor? Sweet, spicy hot with a complex fenugreek maple flavor and a roasted peanut flavor from the fried curry leaves! This is a great tasting traditional Indian long bean entree or side dish.
Just because a spice mixture creates a yellow color, does not mean that it deserves the old worn "curry" word that was used by the Imperial English. This sauce tastes nothing like an English curry! Yum! ... Shawna