This Guar Beans stir fry is a healthy Indian side dish, commonly served with rice and curry.
You can serve this side dish with most Asian rice and curry meals.
What is Guar?
Have you ever heard of a bean called Guar or Cluster Bean?
It just looks like french beans and it’s a bit more green.
In India it is a very common vegetable and recently it received some extra attention from the Industrial world for it’s “gum”.
Besides that it is commonly sold in Indian markets as a fresh vegetable produce.
My Indian followers will know, that the Guar Beans are commonly used to turn into a tasty curries and today it’s a gawar sabzi/gavar bhaji side dish.
Cluster Beans are a bit bitter, even after cooking.
Many will agree that this is not a necessary plus point, because let’s face it, healthy food isn’t always pleasing to the taste buds.
However, a bitter vegetable mostly indicates, that it’s a power food for the human health.
Guar has been proved to be helpful in treating diabetic conditions (see comment section for more information).
This bean has a good amount of dietary fibers and proteins, which is helpful in weight loss treatment.
The stomach takes time to digest the fibers, keeping your stomach full for a longer time.
You end up eating less and thereby tend to loose weight easier.
Apparently cluster beans are further filled with Vitamin C and K.
Vitamin K is important in the bone health and in the development of a healthy fetus.
Cluster beans and its numerous names
This particular bean seems to have more names then you can imagine.
In Goa it’s known locally as Chitjo Mitjo, in Hindi and Marathi it is known as Gawaar, in Kannada as chavalikayi.
The rest of the world seems to be sticking to Gaur, Gavar, Guwar, Guar or Cyamopsis tetragonoloba or simply cluster beans.
Tip: The names might come handy, if you are in a Indian market.
I know, how tedious it can be, when you try to explain the vendor what you are looking for.
But he seems to be oblivious to the wanted produce and it’s existence, until he presents you the right thing by throwing in some odd name.
Gawar has always been a very affordable food vegetable in the Indian market and that is why gawar sabzi is a popular side dish in India.
What are the various uses of cluster beans?
Cluster Bean gum, is extracted from the seeds and is mostly used in the western food industry as thickener, binder and or stabilizer.
It is used in a variety of foods such as in the ice cream.
Further it is used in the textile and paper industry, for ore flotation.
It is used in the manufacturing of explosives and in the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas formations.
Incidentally the business has been booming in the production of Guar, due to the popular use of the Gum in the fracking industry.
I may quote from Reuters….
“Fracking has been called the technology that will change the geopolitics of energy, boosting domestic North American gas supplies to such an extent that experts predict the net importing region will soon turn into a significant gas exporter.
It has also turned guar into a precious commodity farmers now call “black gold”.
In the Rajasthani city of Jodhpur, under the shadow of an ancient fort, traders buy guar seed at 305 rupees ($5.5) a kg, a 10-fold increase from a year ago.”
In Goa a kg of Cluster Beans is priced at 20 – 30 INR (~0.40 $).
This Guar Beas stir fry is enhanced with spices which tones down the bitterness a lot!
This recipe isn’t very spicy, in fact, it’s kind of mild for somebody who isn’t used to spices.
Adjust the chili powder amount to cook the guar bean stir fry more or less spicy.
More Indian vegetable stir fries
Dear Reader, do you enjoy discovering new vegetables for yourself?
How to cook Cluster Beans?
- To prepare the cluster beans , just discard the ends and cut the beans into smaller 1/2 inch pieces.
- Heat up a pan with il and cook your onion slices soft. Then add the tomato pieces and do the same.
- Add the cluster bean pieces and stir cook for a minute on medium heat.
- Cover the beans with waterm season with salt, black pepper, red chili pepper, turmeric and garam masala.
- Mix it well and cook for about 15-18 minutes, till the vegetables are soft but not overcooked!
- Just before serving you can add the shredded Coconut to garnish.
- Serve hot as a side dish with Indian/Goan or even Asian curry meals.