Sunday, 7 August 2016

Khati Mithi Guar

Guar ~Cluster Beans

Fresh Guar; that has been cleaned 

Guar or the cluster bean is another kind of flat bean mainly grown in the Indian sub-continent. Research also shows that the hot and arid lands of Texas grow it as it produces guar gum  which is used in many products as a preservative. Its roots originated in parts of Africa.
Guar can have a slight bitter aftertaste. This is particularly defined with over ripe vegetables and minimal with young /kumri guar. 

We used to enjoy Guar growing up with prawns added to it or mutton/goat/lamb pieces. However , my grandmother in law who was an excellent chef, used to make this with small meat kebabs. I can still remember the absolutely delicious taste of her everyday simple food she could magically produce. The vegetarian version is very often served with scrambled eggs and chapati to complete the meal.

Khati Mithi Guar in a bowl, raw guar prior to cooking.


3 tbsp oil
2 large onions finely chopped
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground garlic
1 ½ tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chillie powder
1 tsp green chillies finely chopped
1 ½ tsp salt
2 large tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped
1 kg/ 2.2lb tender guar beans
2 small green raw mangoes peeled and sliced
1 cup water
2 tbsp jaggery


Heat the oil and fry the onions till golden brown. Add in the spices and simmer for a minute or two.
Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute.
Now add the guar and mangoes. Add about a cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and cook the guar beans for 45 minutes till almost cooked through. The water must all evaporate. Lastly add the jaggery and cook for another 10 minutes stirring often. Keep on cooking and stirring until little oil comes up on the sides of the pan.

Remove the string from the guar bean and cut into two or three pieces. The younger the bean is the tender the string and skin is. 
Guar takes an hour to cook sometimes. It must become soft enough to eat but not into a mush. 
You know when it is ready when the drops of oil rise to the side of the pan. This is called "tayl per avanu"; something one learns about a lot for this particular type of cooking.

An addition of guar jhinga-prawns is common or even small kebabs for the non-vegetarians.

For more Parsi regional recipes click on my new cookbook

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.

Niloufer's Kitchen: Autumn

Niloufer's Kitchen: Quick and Easy

Read more on Niloufer's Kitchen in The Huffington Post Blog

Photo courtesy Sheriar Hirjikaka

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