|A salad of hyacinth beans with chilli-infused mustard oil and garden flowers|
|Yesterday's harvest of hyacinth beans|
We usually have them in chutney with fermented fish or in khari. We also add them to fish curry and in dried fish recipes. Tender beans are fried or mixed into vegetable dishes.
The salad that I made goes really well with tender French beans. But with such lovely produce from my backyard I thought it would be a good idea to adapt that recipe with these beans by adding ingredients that are popular in our part of the world.
About 30 tender beans
Salt to taste
A quarter tsp of coarsely grated pepper
1 tsp of chilli-infused mustard oil or according to taste
Bean blossoms, nasturtium flowers/leaves and brassica blooms for the garnish
Herbs of your choice (optional)
Top and tail the beans and string them. Set aside.
Heat about 3-4 cups of water. When it comes to the boil, add the beans.
Add salt and let the beans cook for about 5 minutes or till tender but not too soft.
Hyacinth beans take a little longer than French beans. Drain the cooked beans in a colander.
Arrange the drained beans on a serving platter. Sprinkle the grated pepper all across.
Drizzle the oil over the beans and arrange the blooms and the leaves on the salad.
This is indeed a lovely salad despite being so simple to make. Fresh vegetables have their own natural sweetness and the slight heat from the oil strikes a fine balance. As for the visual appeal...what are flowers for? This salad will serve 3-4 people. I keep small quantities of chilli-infused olive as well as mustard oil. The simplest pickle of bird's eye chillies in mustard oil is very popular in our region. A bit of a drizzle over mashed potatoes takes the dish to another level.