Gujarati Val
65 Mins

Gujarati Val

Val, or the white beans of Gujarat are prepared simply and flavorfully in this easy curry. If buying the val from an Indian grocer, be careful not to buy the Surati val as they tend to have a bitter flavor. Alternately, use navy beans or Italian cannellini beans. Typical to most Gujarati foods, the curry has a slight sweet finish. The addition of chai masala at the beginning adds a aromatic haunting flavor to this curry. These beans can be enjoyed over rice or toast. As a starter, poured into small bowls and topped with good olive oil, herbs, minced tomato and/or crumbled cheese, they make quite a statement.
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Cook Time

65 minutes + soak time



Step 1
Soak the beans for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Drain.
Step 2
Combine the beans with 4 to 5 cups of water and in a thick-bottom stockpot or a Dutch oven, bring them to a boil. Discard any scum that may rise to the top. Add the chai masala and salt; cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until cooked through. The beans must be soft and mushy. Cook longer if needed.
Step 3
Take some of the beans and liquid out into a bowl and mash them together and pour back into the beans. This will make the curry a little bit thicker.
Step 4
Add the ginger, serrano and jaggery and continue simmering.
Step 5
In a separate small frying pan over high heat, warm the olive oil and pop the cumin seeds. Add the asafetida and kari leaves and immediately pour over the val. Stir in gently and finish with lemon juice.
Step 6
Garnish with herbs and serve.

1 cup val or other white beans

1 teaspoon chai masala

1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon unpeeled minced ginger

1 serrano pepper, minced

2 tablespoons minced jaggery or sugar

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Generous pinch of asafetida

15 to 20 kari leaves, minced

Juice of 1 lemon

Fresh cilantro for garnish

Notes & Variations

  • The most important thing about cooking beans is to remember to soak them the day before; this reduces the cooking time in half.Serve warm on toast with a friend egg on top.
  • Asafetida is not essential to the recipe – leave it out or use minced garlic in its place.
  • To serve it as a soup, add more liquid and serve it with julienned vegetables on top and/or herbs.
65 Mins

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