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Also Known as
Black Eyed Beans, Lobhia, Cow peas
Black-eyed beans are creamy white in colour and have a black mark on their inner curve. The skin of black-eyed beans is quite thick. It has a subtle, nutty aroma and a rich creamy taste that is slightly earthy.
It is a subspecies of the cowpea, grown for its medium-sized edible bean, which has a unique natural taste that is nice even without spices!
Soaked and cooked chawli
Soaking the chawli makes it easier to cook. Before soaking, wash the chawli well. Bring water to a boil. Add the beans. Let it cook for five minutes and then shut off the heat. Let it stay for 4-5 hours.
After pre-soak is done, drain and rinse the beans. Add the pre-soaked beans and water to a pressure cooker. The water should top the beans by about 2". Lock the lid. Turn on heat. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Wait till the pressure has dropped. Remove excess water from the pressure cooker, leaving behind just enough water to make sure that beans are submerged.
You can also cook it in a large pot. Place soaked chawli in the pot and cover completely with water and cook it with a lid on. Remove from the heat and drain it.
Clean the chawli and remove any kind of stones or dirt. To soak chawli, first wash it twice with water and then soak it in warm water. Soaking in water enables the chawli to cook faster - thereby saving on time as well as energy.
How to Select
• Always choose large, oblong beans that are creamy-white with a black "eye" on one side.
• Make sure the beans are free from contaminants, especially stones and insects.
• Cooked beans are also available in canned form.
• Check the manufacturing as well as expiry date before purchasing.
• The beans can be eaten sprouted or cooked, or ground into flour.
• Always rinse and sort the beans before cooking to remove dirt and larger contaminants like stones.
• Soak the beans five to eight hours before cooking. When cooking, change the water after 30 minutes.
• It may be cooked till mushy and prepared as dal, or just cooked till soft and mixed with diced tomatoes, onions and salt for a snack.
• The beans require salt, to bring out their full flavour. Adding salt too early inhibits water penetration and can toughen the beans. So, add the salt when they are more than half done.
• When the beans are fully cooked, taste one and adjust the seasonings as needed.
• Curries are best made with chawli. Add ghee or oil to the pan; add chopped onions and cumin seeds. Sauté until slightly brown. Add ginger, garlic, tomatoes and chopped parsley to the onions. Let it simmer for five minutes or until the oil separates from the seasoning mixture. Add to the beans. Garnish with fresh cilantro, parsley or dollop of yoghurt.
• They are excellent in soups and salads.
How to Store
• Always store dry beans in a dry airtight container at room temperature.
• Do not store dry beans in the refrigerator.
• Beans are best used within one year. Over time, they can lose their moisture and take longer to soak and cook.
• Once cooked, beans can be kept in the refrigerator in a covered, airtight container for up to 5 days.
• Canned beans once opened should be used. But if need be, store the leftover in the freezer. It can keep good for two weeks opened/unopened.
• Black-eyed beans are rich in the best sort of fibre - soluble fibre - which helps to eliminate cholesterol from the body.
• It is a good source of folate, potassium, copper, phosphorous and manganese.
• Chawli beans supply high quality protein, which provides a healthy alternative to animal protein.
• Pulses are an excellent source of potassium, which contributes to a regular heart beat, regulates transfer of nutrients to cells, controls water balance and helps regulate blood pressure.
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