Pachai Mochai Poriyal is very simple and very easy to make. The recipe has been handed down from my great-grandmother’s kitchen. It makes a very interesting side dish and appears even in wedding feasts. It is also suited for packed lunches as it is a dry preparation.
Pachai Mochai (Tender Field Beans) is a favourite bean among the people of Thirunelveli. It used to be available mainly during our so-called winter but is now available round the year. Compared to the mature, dry field beans, the energy, protein, and fat values are very low. It supplies only 48 Calories and 3.8 g Protein per 100 g edible portion and negligible fat. It is a fair source of Calcium at 210 mg per 100 g and also carotene of 187 µg but only 9 mg of Vitamin C.
It is available in the market either as pods or shelled beans. If you buy shelled beans you are saved the trouble of splitting open each pod (which are quite tough) to remove the beans but the pods cost much less than the shelled beans. I prefer to buy the pods because their beans are fresher than the shelled ones.
The Indian Council of Medical Research lists Pachai Mochai as Dolichos lablab.
- 500 g shelled Pachai Mochai
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- ¼ C diced Onion
- 1/3 C fresh Coconut scrapings
- 2 sprigs Curry Leaves
- 1 T Vegetable Oil
- ¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 ½ tsp Salt, or to taste
- Grind or pulse the coconut in a blender for 10 seconds.
- Pressure cook the mochai with turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt, and 1 cup of water for 20 minutes.
- Cool, remove from the cooker and set aside.
- Drain the water from the cooked mochai into a bowl. Mix the ground coconut with it. This forms the masala.
- Heat the oil in a kadai or a wok. Add the mustard seeds. When it has finished popping add the diced onion and fry till translucent.
- Add the masala and cook on low heat till it becomes almost dry.
- Add the cooked mochai and stir till dry.
- Add the curry leaves, and remove from heat.
- If you have bought pods, shell them the previous day and store in the refrigerator to save yourself time.
- This preparation doesn’t stick to the pan and therefore a non-stick vessel is not required.