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Mutton with cluster beans (Gawar phalli ka khalia)

Cluster beans, also called as Gypsy beans or gavar or guar locally are thought to have originated in India or West Africa. they are a staple in Indian cuisine and quite easily available across the country throughout the year.

This is a simple recipe that is typical of the Nawabi cuisine of Hyderabad. the meat is cooked till fork tender with the beans that hold up well due to their fibrous structure. the addition of raw mango or amchur powder adds a lovely tartness to the curry. This is a simple main dish that uses seasonal vegetables and is a staple in homes.

Pratibha Karan started her career as an IAS officer, and after a successful career migrated to authoring cookbooks. She has published a couple of cookbooks, and her work as the Secretary of the Ministry of Food Processing prepared her for this new role. This cookbook is her opus on Nawabi Hyderabadi cuisine, she brings to your table the distinct dishes of the era and culture. From the classic Dum ka biryani to the other lesser-known dishes that she has resurrected, this book is filled with recipes that shine on the table.

For more recipes from this book, click here.


2 tablespoons oil

4-5 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon ginger paste

1 lb mutton, with or without bone

1 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste

3/4 teaspoon turmeric

Salt, to taste

1 small raw mango, finely diced, or 2 teaspoons amchur powder

1/2 lb cluster beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

4 cups water

Heat the oil in a pot and add the garlic and ginger. fry for 30 seconds till the garlic is golden and add the meat. Mix well and fry on high heat so the meat sears and does not stew.

Once the meat is browned lightly on all sides and sealed, add the chilli powder, turmeric, salt, and mango. Toss well to coat the meat. Add the cut beans and cook for 2-3 minutes till the beans are soft.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 60 minutes with the lid closed till the meat is very soft. Occasionally remove the lid and turn the dish over to mix the ingredients. When the meat is very soft, open the lid and cook till the liquids are almost completely evaporated, you should have very little liquids at this point. taste for salt, sourness and spice and adjust as needed.

Serve hot with naan bread.

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