July 23, 2010

Fresh Field Beans (Vaal) in a Peanut and Yogurt Sauce

Graduation was fantastic! Thank you for all of the congratulations and good luck wishes you left for me. As always, your support is invaluable. Time to start a fresh, new chapter of my life, and the only way to fire up such chapters is with fresh, innovative food.

This dish combines firm field beans with a creamy, clean tasting yogurt sauce. Perfect for those who like subtly spiced dishes or those who simply fancy a change from heavily perfumed concoctions.


You can buy field beans from all good Indian grocery or health food shops; they can be found fresh, dried and frozen so keep your beans eyes peeled. Their texture is best described as a cross between white soya beans and cannellini beans. Delicious in soups and stews, they are more popularly added to curries in Gujarati cuisine. The famous young field bean (whole) and aubergine curry (vaalore ringdra) is evidence of its popularity; it has dominated wedding menus for years. And I ain’t gonna question that!

Vaal- Mature field beans with the pod removed
Valore- Young field beans (the whole pod, including the beans inside)

Enjoy this with hot chapattis, steamed brown rice, a crisp green salad and a fresh take on life.

Fresh Field Beans (Vaal) in a Peanut and Yogurt Sauce
(Serves 4)

4 cups fresh vaal, boiled in salted water (with a pinch of baking powder) then rinsed under cold water
½ cup peanuts, ground
½ cup chickpea flour
½ cup yogurt
5 cups cold water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 hot green chillies, minced
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp asafoetida
1 red chilli, halved lengthways
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped
Salt to taste


1. Mix together the yogurt, water, ground peanuts and chickpea flour until smooth.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. Add the asafoetida, garlic, both types of chilli and ginger. Sauté briefly, then add the yogurt mixture. Stir this continuously until it reaches boiling point.

3. Add the turmeric, salt and cooked vaal. Allow to simmer for around 5 minutes and finally stir in the chopped coriander.


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23 responses to “Fresh Field Beans (Vaal) in a Peanut and Yogurt Sauce”

  1. Sanyukta Gour(Bayes) says:

    awesome curry sanjana…looks irrestibly delicious….mmmmmmmmmm…droooooooooling

  2. Vaishali Sharma says:

    Looks delicious!! Perfect Curry!

  3. Priya says:

    Such a droolworthy and great looking curry..

  4. Anonymous says:

    very good dish, keep up the good work, its bcoming a habit now checking your wonderful blog twice a day.haha

  5. Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal says:

    That is a very nice gravy. I am going to use it sometime.

  6. Ushnish Ghosh says:

    Dear Sanjana
    Congrats again ! I cant imagine a better way of starting a new phase of life than making a great dish..It is one of your best ones..
    Wish you great success in your internship and many great recipes for us …
    Have a nice weekend

  7. Saint Bapu says:


    Hope you cook something delicious when I am there next weekend

  8. penny aka jeroxie says:

    Congras to a brand new beginning! 🙂

  9. AshKuku says:

    Loved this prep so much… The captures are no doubt very tempting… Saving it for a try very soon…. Hyacinth beans & field beans are they one & the same…. Looks same though…. Anyway s I would try this prep with the beans that I have….. 😉 Hugs ))))


  10. Trish says:

    Congrats! This recipe sounds fabulous! I am not familiar with the bean – will give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Jennifer says:

    This sauce is brilliant with the beans!! I love the use of both peanut flavour and tang of yogurt. Congrats on your accomplishment!

  12. Parita says:

    I love Vaal and lovely curry!

  13. Rochelle says:

    This looks so creamy and yummy! I would love to give this a try any time 🙂

  14. RV says:

    Congratulations Sanjana!!! Hope you had a bash… This dish looks very comforting and delicious

  15. simply.food says:

    Congrats on your graduation.Well done.This is alovely way to cook field beans.Very innovative yoghurt nad peanut gravy.

  16. Tania says:

    Beans are so good! I love this combination, your dish looks very tasty!

  17. Magdalena says:

    Congratulations 🙂
    As regards beans, do you mean fava beans? I am not quite sure what the field bean is, I googled and it seems that it is a fava bean, but maybe I am wrong.
    The recipe seems refreshing and tasty; I like all beans in general, but especially those which one can but fresh in summertime.
    Kind regards!

  18. Sanjana says:

    Thanks everyone!

    Magdalena- The field bean (vaal) is different to the fava bean. They are indeed part of the same family (Vicia faba), although they are a different variety. The shape and texture is quite different. If you can't source field beans then I'm sure you could try it with similar types: e.g. broad beans, fava beans, bell beans or tic beans. Hope that helps!

  19. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says:

    Never had these types of legumes before, Sanjana. They look yummy, though. Thanks for introducing me to so many foods through your blog!

  20. A Little Yumminess says:

    I am going to have to impress my in-laws with some of your dishes!

  21. Kathy Gori says:

    I have GOT to try this…can't wait to locate these beans. The hunt begins. Congratulations on your graduation!!

  22. Poonam says:

    I wonder how i have never used this wonderful vaal in cooking, gotta try out!

  23. oak dining tables says:

    These beans looked so delicious. I have been craving for some beans for weeks now. I miss this childhood favorite of mine.

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