It's always interesting to find out ingredients that are different from the ones in your own region. The other day I picked a bundle of beans from the vendor known as sangri or sangar. I must have cooked with the fresh variety only once before and certainly did not blog about it. But I'm more familiar with the dried ones that go into the famous and delicious Rajasthani dish kair sangri ki sabzi, a combination of desert berries and beans. These are the beans of the tree Prosopis cineraria known as Khejri tree in Rajasthan. Here are some facts about the plant from Wiki.
Prosopis cineraria is a species of flowering tree in the Pea family, Fabaceae. It is native to arid portions of the Indian subcontinent and several areas of the Middle-East. It is the state tree of Rajasthan. The wood is a good fuel source and provides excellent charcoal. The leaves and pods are consumed by livestock. The tree improves soil fertility and its deep roots avoid competition for water with other crops. With the regular browsing by camel and goats, the tree takes on a (pruned) bush-like appearance. The pods, both fresh and dried are consumed. Both are also used as cattle feed. More facts about the tree here.
200 grams sangri
2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, and diced
A quarter tsp cumin seeds
2 green chillies, scored lengthwise, seeds intact
1 tbs cumin and coriander powder, toasted and ground
1 tomato, blanched, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 tsp chilli powder
Salt to taste
2 tbs vegetable oil
Fresh chopped coriander for the garnish
Remove the ends of the beans and cut into one and a half inch bits. The tapering ends are tough so snip off where the tenderness ends.
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and the tejpatta.
Put in the green chillies and the beans. Stir.
Add the rest of the spices and cook till almost tender. This will take about 15 minutes.
Season with salt.
Then add the potatoes and the chopped tomatoes.
Cook till it all comes together. This will take a few more minutes.
Remove from the flame and transfer to a serving dish.
Garnish with the chopped coriander.
I squeezed a bit of lemon juice before having it. Another option is to use amchoor powder for a bit of tang.
Optional....the beans can be plunged into boiling water for a minute or two before being cooked. This is to remove the very slight hint of bitterness you might get from the beans.
This dish goes very well with Indian flatbreads.