Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Winged Bean & Carrot Salad

Winged bean & carrot salad
Winged bean & carrot salad
Growing winged beans for the first time, I couldn't wait for my first harvest. And today was the day. There are many blooms on the vine and several tender pods. So I'll be able to use them in various ways. But I started with this simple but tasty salad as I wanted the taste of the beans to be star of the dish.

In April when I had gone to my hometown I brought the seeds. My mother had kept some seeds aside for me. When she went to the shelf to them, they were no longer there. My nephew who also shows a keen interest in gardening said he had already sowed the seeds. He ran down to the garden. It's on a slope and gardening in my parents' house has always been referred to as 'going down'.:) He dug up four seeds that had already germinated. He wrapped each seed  in damp paper and put them in a small plastic bag before handing them over to me. Back home I planted the seeds the next day. Three did not survive but the one that did, is doing well.
Reading up online about these beans I learnt that all parts of the plant are edible. According to Wiki, winged bean is nutrient -rich. The leaves can be eaten like spinach, the flowers can be used in salads, tubers can be eaten raw or cooked, and the seeds can be used in similar ways as the soya bean. The winged bean is a tropical legume native to New Guinea but grows in all hot and humid equatorial countries. It is also known as four-angled bean, Goa bean, four-cornered bean, Manila bean and Mauritius bean. In my mother tongue, we call it Shbai-daograng which translates to a bean with the feathers of a bird.

Ingredients:
4 tender winged beans
1 medium carrot
1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Red chilli flakes
2 tbs sesame oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp honey
2 tbs orange juice
Salt to taste 
Top and tail the beans and cut them into similar sizes.
Put about 2 cups of water in a pan and bring it to a boil. 
Blanch the beans for about 3 minutes.
Remove and plunge them into icy water to retain the colour and to stop the cooking process.
Remove and drain after a few minutes.
Grate the carrot. Roast the garlic over an open flame.
Peel, crush and chop them.
Toast the sesame oil till the nutty smell comes out. Set aside.
In a small bowl, add the honey, orange juice, salt and red chilli flakes.
Mix well.
Transfer the beans to a serving bowl. Add the grated carrots. Toss in the walnuts and the chopped garlic.
Pour the dressing and mix well. 
Drizzle the toasted sesame oil. Add chopped herbs if you like.
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