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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Hyacinth Beans with Home-garden Butternut Squash

Hyacinth Beans with Home-garden Butternut Squash

Short, dark, broad, green Hyacinth beans, (Avarakkai in Tamil), used to be a favorite bean variety in my mom's kitchen. Avarakkai poduthuval simply saut ed and tossed in with dry grated coconut + green chilies paste is still one of my favorite sides, not to mention Avarakkai Paruppusili.

The dried seeds of Hyacinth green beans goes by the name of Mocha Kottai in our family. It is versatile - can be used in sambars, curries - but the most I remember it for from childhood is Mocha Kottai Chundal ('Ch' as in chair) / Sundal. It was a staple during Navarathri festival - the nine-nights ten-days long festival which incidentally is going on now, today being the 10th day, Vijayadasami.

Hyacinth Beans with Home-garden Butternut Squash

The first of the half-dozen or so home-garden butternut squash we harvested, together with Hyacinth beans makes this wonderful side which can be served with roti, naan, paratha, rice and sambar.

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, cleaned, diced
1 cup dry Hyacinth beans, soaked overnight, cooked till done but not mushy
1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp coriander powder
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 green chili (optional)
tempering (optional): mustard seeds, urad dal
salt to taste

  1. Heat the oil in a pan; add the tempering if using and allow mustard seeds to pop and urad dal to turn golden brown
  2. Add the squash, chilies, spices, toss well, add a few Tbsp of water, cover and cook till squash is done but not mushy
  3. Add in the cooked Hyacinth beans, adjust salt to taste, sauté together and allow to brown a bit

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  • At 10:47 PM, Blogger Priya said…

    Wow home grown squash, beautiful dish..

  • At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Shuba said…

    Hi Sheela,

    Do you have a trick to easily peel/cut these squashes? I gave up on them after running into a number of them whose skin I could not even penetrate, leave alone dice or cook!


  • At 2:20 PM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Priya:: Thanks!

    Shuba:: Not trick per se, but the process I follow is very much as described in this article - large knife certainly makes a difference.

    Another option is to par-cook it in microwave, then cut and peel so it is a bit softer.


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