Green beans are generally available all round the year with the peak season being from May to October. Green beans are also called string beans and snap beans. The green bean, kidney bean, or common bean, is an herbaceous annual plant in the Fabaceae (legume or bean family) that originated in Central and South America and is now cultivated in many parts of the world for its beans, which can be harvested and eaten immature, still in the edible pod, or when mature, shelled, and dried.
Numerous cultivars of green beans have been developed, including string beans, string less varieties (such as the slender French haricot varieties), and snap beans. Cultivars of dried (or shelling) beans from this species are even more diverse, among them the following: black beans (or black turtle beans); cranberry beans (tan speckled with maroon, or white speckled with crimson); kidney beans (which may be light or dark red, and come in various sizes); cannellini or white kidney beans; pinto beans (the speckled varieties used in many Latin American dishes); and various white beans (also called navy beans).
French beans are said to have originated in South and Central America. The cultivation of French beans was started 7000 years ago, by the Indian tribes settled in Tehuacan Valley of Mexico and in Callejon de Huaylas, Peru. When Christopher Columbus returned from his second voyage to the New World in the year 1493, he brought French beans with him in the Mediterranean region.
French beans were considered to be rare to find and expensive but soon became one of the commonly used beans in the 19th century. In France, French beans were introduced in the year 1597 by the Conquistadors. Boiling, steaming, or microwaving is popular ways to prepare fresh green beans. Stir-frying preserves the best qualities of the fresh green bean. Field beans or Broad beans taste excellent while still young and tender. The right amount of spices mixed together balances the dish rightly giving it a pleasant aroma and making it extremely delectable to the taste buds.
Field beans have a stronger flavour and are much preferred in making of falafel. Field bean is grown throughout India. Its green pods are used as vegetable and dry seeds as pulse. These beans are known by various names such as broad beans, faba beans, horse bean etc. Native to North Africa or Southwest Asia, these were the only beans common in Europe before discovery of the Americas. They are essential to the cuisines of peoples all around the Mediterranean, particularly the Near East and North Africa, and are widely marketed in North America, with fresh increasingly available.
Shelled beans are also available frozen, both peeled and unpeeled. Frozen beans are tremendously more economical (and more convenient too) than fresh beans in the pod. Field beans is commonly known as Chikkudukaya in telugu in Andhra Pradesh and popularly called as Vicia faba or fava beans. Broad beans being among the most ancient plants have a long tradition of cultivation in Old World agriculture.
Around 6000 BC or earlier, it is believed that along with lentils, peas and chickpeas have become part of the eastern Mediterranean diet. Normally beans are one of the longest cultivated plants and broad beans with seeds were gathered in wild state in Afghanistan and the Himalayan foothills. The Indian broad beans or the Chikkudukaya is one of the very important vegetables rich in mineral and proteins. A variety of recipes are prepared with this vegetable.
The simple and traditional way of making it is the excellent stir fry curry that tastes awesome. Fava beans are used for a breakfast dish called the ful medames in most of the Arab countries. This beans is common in Latin American cuisines and they are dried and salted and used as a popular snack in many Latin countries. Broad beans are primarily cultivated in the central part of Iran and the city of Kashan has the highest production of broad beans that has high quality in taste, cooking periods and color.
Broad beans have a very short season and are usually in the middle of spring. Beans are an important source of protein an interesting modern example of the diversity of bean use is the modern urban recipe 15 bean soup, which, as the name implies, contains literally fifteen different varieties of bean. Christopher Columbus, during his exploration has first seen most kinds of commonly eaten fresh beans which may have been the first grown in fields in Bahamas.
In India, as the Chikkudukaya or Indian broad beans is seasonal they are cooked in many ways either stir fried or cooked with other vegetables like the Bean potato curry, tomato or with methi (fenugreek) leaves. Broad beans are good sources of protein, fibre, vitamins A and C, potassium and iron. They also contain L-dopa, a chemical the body uses to produce dopamine, an important neurotransmitter involved in learning, mood control and motivation. Some also use fava beans as a natural alternative to drugs like Viagra, citing a link between L-dopa production and the human libido.
There are various ways of adding these generous and delicious beans into making a variety of curries, stir-fries, stews or rice preparations such as Field Beans Curry, Vaal ni Dal no Pulav, Valachi Usal etc. Other different types of fresh green beans are widely used in Indian cuisine and have created recipes that are par excellence and mouth-watering. Some of the fantastic and delectable dishes made from this humble and fresh vegetable are:
Sambar with Field Green Beans Sambar with Field Green Beans commonly known as Avarakkai Sambar in southern India is a very popular lentil combined with Field green beans combined with spices to make it very delicious and flavourful.
Padval Dalimbi Baaji Typical highly nutritious, protein rich Maharashtrian dish made with Padval which means Snake gourd and Dalimbi means field beans cooked in a spicy curry.
Dalimbi bhat Dalimbi Bhat is a traditional, very delicious Maharashtra delicacy made with field beans, rice and spices especially cooked for special occasions. This yummy popular is aromatic, flavourful and has all the rich spices of India, the special spice mix Gouda masala from the Maharashtrian cuisine and the flavourful sweet grated coconut giving this dish amazing taste and flavours that would tickle your taste buds craving for more.
Crispy Fried Green Beans Crispy fried green beans are an awesome snack made with French beans coated with some spicy batter and deep fried until done. Topped with grated cheese.
Green Beans with Sesame seed masala This is a very simple recipe and can be prepared at easy & has a nutty finish with sesame.
Stir fried Sesame Potato Beans Looking for a different treatment for garden-fresh green beans .Try this stir-fried side dish. It's nicely seasoned with spices and we can have it with chapati, rotis.
Gavar Bhoplachi Bhaaji A simple fry side dish combined with yellow pumpkin and cluster beans cooked with few spices to together. This recipe is derived from the Maharashtrian cuisine.
Mix Vegetable Poriyal Mix Vegetable poriyal is mix of all vegetables cooked and tossed with freshly grated coconut. It is also known as porial/dry curry/koora/sabji and goes well accompanied with rice as a side dish and also with any type of chapathis/parathas/rotis.
Avial Avial is a dish that has a unique place in typical Kerala as well as Tamil cuisine and Udupi cuisine. It is a thick mixture of vegetables, curd and coconut, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. Avial is considered an essential part of the Sadya, the Keralian vegetarian feast.
Vegetable Kolhapuri This is a popular spicy mixed vegetable Kolhapuri preparation which is a semi- dry vegetable dish cooked with spices as the base for the gravy.
Navrattan Korma Navrattan korma is a classic delicious Mughlai dish, gets its name Navratan (meaning nine gems) from the nine different veggies, fruit and nuts used in it, cooked in silky and creamy gravy. This delicious Mughlai dish gets its name Navratan (meaning nine gems) from the nine different veggies, fruit and nuts used in it. Assorted vegetables cooked in yogurt and fresh cream gravy.
Makhani Jalfreizi Vegetable jalfreizi is an amazing dish made with a combination of various vegetables and spices. Jalfrezi is also known as Zalfrezi or Jhal frezi and is a favorite dish among the vegetarians. It is a type of curry where all the veggies are fried in oil and added to spicy gravy to produce a dry thick sauce.
Aloo Barbati Aloo barbate is an amazing dish made with green yard long beans and potatoes. The beans get cut in random sized parts. Same thing happens to potatoes and they get cooked on medium heat because and the beans get slightly golden or brown because of the high heat cooking.
Navratan Korma in Maharashtrian style Navratan Korma is a delicious combination of several vegetables in a creamy sauce. It can be served with any Indian bread. Navratan Korma, meaning a mixture of nine gems(nine fruits & vegetables) is a delicious vegetarian dish from the Mughlai cuisine. The nine gems indicate the nine veggies, fruits and nuts that go into the dish.
Do try these recipes and delight your palate with different variations.
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