Val/Field beans are an excellent source of protein and must be included in our regular diet especially by vegeterians. Different types of field beans are available for ex: gode val, kadve val, surti val depending on the regions they grow in. Kadve Val are famous in Maharashtrian/ konkan cuisine and the same are used to prepare vala cha birda also known as dalimbi usal. 
RECIPE:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sprouted field beans/ val
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4th tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 4 to 5 curry leaves
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 to 3 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder(adjust to individual spice required)
  • 2 kokum petals
  • 1 cup fresh coconut milk to which 1 tsp rice flour is added
  • Salt to taste
  • Finely.chopped coriander leaves to garnish

METHOD:

  • Rinse the sprouted val gently, add a pinch of turmeric and half the quantity of chilli powder, mix well and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a nonstick/ ceramic pan, add mustard seeds. When they splutter add asafoetida, curry leaves,add the onions, saute well till transluscent. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, the chilli powder coated val beans and stir well so that the spice mix coats the val well.
  • Pour hot water just enough to cook the val beans and stir well. Cover and cook till almost done. Then add the coconut milk, salt and kokum, stir well and bring to a boil and cook till done. The beans should be soft but not mushy. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot as a side dish with rotis/ polis or even dal rice.

NOTE:

  • The sweetness in coconut milk reduces the bitterness in vaal.
  • Val are delicate, so stir carefully. Do not overcook the val.
  • The val should be crunchy. Undercooking as well as overcooking spoil the taste of the usal.

TIP:

  • Always add a tsp of rice flour to coconut based gravies so that they do not split when heated.

Procedure to sprout Val:

  • Soak val beans for about 12 hours in lukewarm water. Drain the water and transfer the beans into a cotton cloth. Hold all the edges together, twist them and tie a knot. Keep them in a warm place for another 12 hours. Once sprouted loosen the knot, transfer to a container filled with warm water. After sometime gently remove the skin taking care to keep the sprouts intact. 1/2 cup of val gives approximately 1 cup of sprouted val.