Cluster beans, known as Mattikaya in Telugu and Kothavarakkai in Tamil is popular in the north as Guar. In Malayalam, we just call it Kothavarakka, a slight variation in pronunciation from what its called in Tamil. I am a little confused about what Chitkaya/Chikkadikaya is? Is it another name for the vegetable in Telugu?
Anyway, I got a pack of it in the Indian store and immediately grabbed it, thinking I will try what my mom normally makes with it – an avial or a in a tangy gravy with ground coconut and tomatoes.
Clustered Beans Indian-Style with Yam
Cluster beans – 2 cups, cut into 1″ pieces
Yam – 1 cup, cubed
Coconut – 4 tbsp, grated (optional)
Chopped garlic – 2 tsp
Shallots – 4
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Jeera powder – 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Coconut oil – 2 tsp
How I Made It:
1. Cook the cluster beans and yam separately in water till they are tender. Cooking them together will make the yam bitter. The water used to cook the cluster beans should not be used since it will be bitter.
2. Heat oil in a pan and lightly fry the garlic and shallots. Then add the coriander, chilly and jeera powders and fry for another 30 seconds.
3. Mix in the coconut, yam and beans with some salt and leave it on sim for 4-5 minutes.Serve hot with rice and gravy.