Jun 24, 2009

Atomic Navy Bean Soup - Desi Style

I had such a hard time coming up with a name for this dish in English. This is a Konkani staple. The beans change but the method of preparation is the same. I've tried googling the English names of the beans/lentils that I grew up eating but I wasn't very successful. But that's ok because I haven't seen them in any store here (yes, not even in Little India) except for Mung dal.

The Konkani name is: dhavé (white) Beea (bean/seed) saar upkari or thinglauro saar upkari.

Without further adieu...
Serves 2-3


1 cup of navy beans (I've never tried this out with canned beans...and I won't be trying it out either).
1/2 tbspn vegetable oil
1-2 dried red chillies (Thai chillies will work. break in Half if you dare)
Salt to taste
About 5 whole cloves of garlic, but smashed (Atomic!!)


1. Soak beans overnight in water.

2. Slow cook the beans until done in water (1cup beans to 2 cups of water approx.). I own a pressure cooker and a rice cooker and either of them should work fine. You could also just cook them on the stove at low heat. Make sure there is enough water and add more if it evaporates. Cook it until you can squish it between your thumb and index finger...no al dente nonsense here.

3. Once they are cooked make sure there is enough water to cover it and then some.

4. On the side in a small wok add the oil and let it heat up. To the very hot oil add the red chilli and garlic. It's going to cackle and sizzle and sputter. this is good. Let all the flavors infuse in the oil until garlic turns brown.

5. Then immediately add the hot oil, chilli, and garlic to your beans mix. It's going to make the biggest hissing noise when the oil hits the water, but its sooo much fun! Also dont forget to take some liquid and rinse out the wok with the oil before you throw it into the sink.

6. Stir and add salt.


Typically eaten with white rice, some yoghurt, papad and some sort of upkari. This time I paired it with Cauliflower upkari. I'll upload a recipe for that one too. It's a little different from the beetroot recipe that I linked to.

Note: In the pic on the right, I made more than 1 cup worth and added 10 cloves of garlic and a total of 3 red chillies.

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