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Papdi beans are medium in size, averaging 5-7 centimeters in length, and are long, flat, and slightly curved in shape. The pods are smooth, thick, and pale green, tapering to a point on both ends. There are typically 2-4 seeds contained in the pod that are white to buff, ovoid in shape, and slightly compressed or flattened. When young, Papdi beans are tender with a green flavor, and when mature, the beans become woody, fibrous, and eventually inedible. Papdi beans have a taste similar to green beans with a coarser and drier texture.
Papdi beans are available in the winter.
Papdi beans, botanically classified as Dolichos lablab, grow on a prolific herbaceous plant and are members of the Fabaceae or bean, pea, and legume family. Also known as Green flat beans, Indian bean, Valore bean, and Val bean in the United States, and Warlor papdi, Desi papdi, Gujarati papdi, Surati papdi, Chapparada avare, Chikkudu klaya, and Val papdi in different regions of India, Papdi beans are a popular food source in Asia, especially in the Gujarati region of West India. Mostly used for its green pods, Papdi beans can be used in a wide variety of culinary applications including curries and stir-fries. In the United States, Papdi beans are predominately grown as an ornamental plant and are also used as a cover crop to help prevent erosion.
Papdi beans contain iron, magnesium, and calcium.
Papdi beans are best suited for cooked applications such as stir-frying, baking, boiling, and sautéing. They are used extensively in Indian cuisine and are typically found in subzis or vegetable dishes, and they are often served as an accompaniment to meat or fish. Papdi beans can be added to salads, curries, soups, stews, and casseroles, or served as a stand-alone side dish. The beans should be washed thoroughly, and the string ends removed for proper cooking. Papdi beans are also blanched prior to preparing and are usually cooked with coconut milk or coconut meat to neutralize the coarse taste. Papdi beans pair well with dal or sambar rice, pumpkin, coconut milk, coriander leaves, turmeric, tamarind, garlic, onion, meats such as poultry, beef, and fish, bell pepper, and potatoes. They will keep 3-4 weeks when stored in a cool and dry place.
In India, Papdi beans are commonly cooked and consumed as a vegetable and the entire plant is edible. The flowers and young leaves can be eaten raw in salads or used as a garnish, and the more mature leaves can be cooked and consumed similar to spinach. Papdi beans are often prepared in Goan style, which is a stir-fry from the coastal region of Goa in Western India that incorporates coconut, curry, and rich spices such as turmeric. Papdi beans are also extremely popular in China where they are consumed as a food source and grown as an ornamental in home gardens.
Papdi beans are native to the tropical regions of Africa and Asia and have been growing wild since ancient times. Since then, the plant has been extensively cultivated and was spread to Europe in the early 1700s and to the United States in the early 1800s. Today Papdi beans can be found at local markets and specialty grocers in Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and the United States.
Recipes that include Papdi Beans. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Bawarchi||Papdi Chi Bhaji|
|Red Chillies||Papdi ki Sabzi (Indian Flat Beans Curry)|
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