We call Cluster Beans as Mattikaya in Telugu and Kothavarangai in Tamil. Until I started cooking, I never knew the tamil names for many of the Vegetables. I almost feel strange when trying to recollect what Amma says for each one. Though I never really lived in Andhra, I know them by their Telugu names. My parents have ensured we learn the language and continue speaking only at home. And cluster beans is one of favorites with Andhrites. I got this assured when even Athamma wants to make Mattikayala kura every other day. As Daddy loves this curry, it used to make frequent appearance on our dinner table. Since I had that strange habit of not wanting to make certain vegetables, even though I like when it's made, I ensured I gave this a miss most of the time. But alas! entered Athamma, with a soft corner for this abandoned Vegetable. And this is reigning it's head to shamelessly rule the kitchen world every now and then.
But it was a surprise that this has an interesting tale to tell. From goggling, I was enlighten to know that this is used to prepare a guar gum, which is used as a thickener and emulsifier in commercial food processing. Facts never fail to amaze us. Well if I am forced to eat this, then let me eat with something I love - Dosa!
Yes, I find Mattikayala Kura to be more interesting when served with Dosa. Amma makes many varieties with this Vegetable. As I said, Dad is fond of this. (But then Dad is fond of many Vegetables, esp. all those that I never liked but now forced to eat because of my daughter. I can't act grown up if I tell my 6 yr old that I don't like veggies, can I?)
So here is one variety that is a good combo for Dosa
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Cuisine : Andhra
Cluster Beans/ Mattikaya - 250 gms
Onions - 1 small
Tomatoes - 2 small
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Groundnut / Peanut powder - 2 tbsp
Garlic pods - 2
Curry leaves few
Mustard seeds, Urud dal - 1/2 tsp
Water - 1 cup
Method to prepare:
Normally very tender ones are used for cooking, This can be checked by pulling on the tops and ends. Pluck the cluster bean with your hand by pulling it downward; if a thick thread comes away, do the same on the other side. You can either use a knife or if they are very tender, with your hands you can cut them 2 inch long pieces.
Boil a pan with water to cook this. Once the water starts boiling, throw in the chopped beans. Half cover it with lid and cook till its cooked. At times we even pressure cook this when we are pressed for time. But water used for boiling this is never used for cooking as it leaves a bitter taste. Drain and keep aside.
Heat a kadai with Oil. Add Mustard seeds, then sauté in curry leaves, onions and garlic pieces. Once the onions are brown, add chopped tomatoes with salt and turmeric pw. Then add chilli powder and coriander powder. Let it cook till tomatoes are soft.
Then add in the cooked beans. Fry for a 2 mins. Then add water and let it boil on high flame for 2 mins. Sprinkle peanut powder to thicken the gravy.
At times, we garlic pods with peanut when we powder it. That also gives a lovely taste to it.
This tastes excellent with Dosa. Amma always goes for Vegetable curries for Dosas, which I have also imbibed. That's my daughter's plate, she was happy that I was taking a photo of her breakfast plate.