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  • Writer's picture Payal M.

6-month anniversary post! Mum's Classic Crowder Bean Curry

Updated: Oct 1, 2023


It is Cooking with Mum's 6-month anniversary to the day!!! Woot woot! I cannot believe that it has been six months since I started this blog. Time sure does fly when you are having fun. Secondly, it was my birthday yesterday! Woot woot! Aside from a few hiccups, I felt very spoiled and blessed. I suppose I was not expecting much since I did not turn a big number but all my loved ones made this birthday a big deal. So I am eternally grateful to them. Happy heart. Anyways, to celebrate the blogs 6-month anniversary and my birthday, I will be releasing 6 brand-new recipes from Mum's kitchen! I hope you guys are ready to feast on some yummy recipes! Nom nom!



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So today's recipe is for crowder bean (bora) curry. This is a very popular recipe back home and in our family too. In Fiji, crowder beans are readily available and is a popular vegetarian curry to make. Here in California, crowder beans are not available in regular grocery stores and neither are they sold in the Indian grocery store. So where would one find these mystical crowder beans you ask? Well, one of the farms in the Sacramento area grow them. So every summer, we wait until the farms are ready to sell the beans and we buy them literally by the sackful (Update 9.8.2023. Sadly the farm selling these beans closed down and so this year we have been getting them from the farmers market. Suddenly the humble bora has become a hot commodity). This, of course, is the much easier and slightly more expensive alternative to actually picking the beans yourself on the farm. We have done this option too. It is backbreaking work even with a ton of family members to help. And my extended family is big you guys. Like really big. It is definitely an experience I would heartily recommend though. Once the beans come home, we literally have bora shelling "parties". Basically, we sit down somewhere with all the beans and everyone shells the beans until they are all done. We used to go to my Nani's house and shell beans all the time. It used to be great fun. This summer we did it at our house due to the pandemic. After shelling, we briefly blanch them so that they can be frozen down and stored long term. Easy peasy. Anyways, I hope that the next time you buy/consume any type of produce, you think about the people who are picking your food for you in all types of weather. And you think about what it takes to put food on the table. I certainly do now. If you cannot find crowder beans, you can used frozen black-eyes beans for this recipe as well and you can find the simpler recipe here: New Black-Eyed Bean Curry .


We cook crowder beans in many ways. Today I am sharing the recipe for bora with eggplant. This recipe is for blanched bora. If you use freshly shelled bora, then cooking times will be slightly longer. Once you have the beans shelled and blanched, you can slice eggplants. Eggplants should be sliced into carrot sticks. They should be kept in water until use to prevent browning. Then onions, garlic, ginger, spices have to be briefly cooked in oil before adding the bora, eggplant and salt. As the bora is already blanched, it will cook quickly. Once eggplant has half-cooked, add diced tomatoes. Turn heat to low and let eggplant cook down completely. Bora curry is done when they are fully cooked and eggplant is well-cooked and mixed in the curry. Enjoy with freshly made rotis or with rice & dhal. It also makes a great veggie side dish to meat and seafood dishes.

I just love the pictures I took for this dish. The smell of fresh curry&roti plus the pictures I took made me so hungry that I ate my photo shoot afterwards you guys. I am serious. You have to try this dish! Keep scrolling for the video tutorial and recipe with full measurements.

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RECIPE:

Serves 4

Prep time 30 minutes (includes time to shell beans)

Cook time 30 minutes

Ingredients:

2lbs shelled crowder beans*

2 medium sliced Asian eggplants

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Handful of curry leaves (optional)

2 Thai chilies (optional)

1/2 cup diced onions

1 tbsp crushed garlic

1 tbsp crushed ginger

1 tsp turmeric

1 1/2 tsp garam masala

I small diced tomato

Salt to taste

Handful of chopped cilantro

Method:

  1. Wash and drain crowder beans. Wash and slice eggplants into sticks.

  2. On medium heat, add mustard and cumin seeds. As they sizzle, add onions, ginger, garlic, chilis and curry leaves. Cook until aromatic. About 1-2 minutes. Add turmeric and garam masala. Cook for 30 seconds.

  3. Add diced crowder beans and eggplant. Stir. Add salt. Stir.**

  4. When eggplant is half-cooked, add tomatoes but do not mix it in.

  5. Cover and let tomatoes soften.* Once softened, mix in tomatoes.

  6. Turn heat to low and cook until eggplant is thoroughly cooked and mixed in well with the crowder beans.

  7. Turn off heat. Enjoy hot with some fresh rotis or with some rice & dhal!

Notes:

* If you cannot find crowder beans, you can used frozen black-eyes beans for this recipe as well and you can find the simpler recipe here: New Black-Eyed Bean Curry .

**We are using blanched beans in this recipe. If you are using fresh beans, then add about a cup of water in step 3. Then proceed with the rest of the steps. As the water cooks off, a gravy will form and this will be the final product.

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