Kadve vaal (bitter field beans) are an acquired taste especially considering the effort that you need to put into them. They need to be soaked overnight or longer and then left to sprout for 2-3 days, rinsing in water every day. The investment pays off manifold just like making a good sourdough.
I’ve been a fan of these since I was as old as my little one and I’m so glad he has inherited this love for kadve vaal. I don’t make them too often but when I do, dinners are sheer bliss.
My version doesn’t come anywhere close to Aai’s – she makes the best vaal! But sometimes second best does just as well…
1 cup Kadve vaal (see step 1, below)
1 large or 2 medium onions, finely chopped or grated
a pinch of asafoetida
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1 teaspoon Chilli powder
1 teaspoon garlic paste (or 3-4 pods of garlic, finely grated)
2-3 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons, chopped coriander
- To use the vaal on Sunday, soak the vaal on a Thursday. On Friday, drain the water and leave them to sprout. On Saturday, soak them again for a few hours or until the skin can be peeled off easily. (This could take an additional day, especially if the days are cool.)
- Once they are peeled, rinse and keep aside.
- In a shallow bowl, crush together the onions, coriander, salt, turmeric, chilli powder, garlic paste and oil, using the tips of your fingers. The texture you are looking for is a rough paste.
- Heat a wok. Add the paste and the sprouted and peeled vaal . To this add a little water – half a cup or so.
- Cook on medium heat until the vaal are cooked but not mushy. Garnish with some extra coriander, if you like.
- Serve hot with steamed rice and some hot varan and a spoon of ghee.
Finger licking good, every time!