Valor Nu Shaak
Valor Nu Shaak
An easy to make, delicious with simple spices, Valor Nu Shaak is a Gujarati style vegetable side dish. Its generally served with rotli (wheat flatbread), a lentil curry and rice as a part of the daily meal.
What is Valor?
There are so many varieties of beans in the world. Each has importance in different cuisines all over the world. While most of us are familiar with the more popular beans like French beans, lima beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, there are so many more varieties.
One such bean is the Hyacinth Bean or Indian Bean which is very popular in India. Two varieties of these beans exist, the short and slightly broad ones.The short and broad ones are called papdi or Surti papdi. The long, thin, slender ones are called valor or valor papdi in Gujarati. When in season(usually during winter), both the beans are green and tender with soft small beans. At this stage the beans are edible with the pods as they are tender. Once they mature, the pods are not edible, they become hard and the beans are much larger and plump. However, the fresh beans are edible. Dried valor beans are available in the market throughout the year. In Gujarati they are called Vaal.
Vegetables in Kenya
We are fortunate enough to get most of the Indian vegetables in Kenya.Besides that Kenya is blessed with so many other fresh vegetables which grow mostly throughout the year. Whenever valor is in season, I make the best use of them, enjoy them with rotlis and daal. The beans and pods when eaten raw are slightly bitter. However, magically that tends to disappear.
Valor Nu Shaak
The Valor Nu Shaak I have made today is a simple one. I’ve added a few fresh peas and one brinjal or eggplant. Making Valor nu shaak is easy. It actually takes longer to get them ready for cooking. Both ends are snapped off, pulling the side threads along it. The two parts of the pod are pulled apart to expose the inner seeds. Both sides of the pods are then snapped into halves or thirds or left whole if small. There are several different ways you can make Valor Nu Shaak or Valor Papdi Nu shaak:
- Enjoy it with only chopped brinjal or eggplant
- Pair it only with fresh peas or fresh pigeon peas
- Try it with potatoes and chopped fresh fenugreek (methi)
- Add muthiya to the valor nu shaak.
- Add to the famous Gujarati Udhiyu.
Some of the health benefits of fresh Green Beans are:
- they are low in calories
- rich in dietary fibers
- are rich in Vitamin A, B and C
- beans are rich in minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium.
Some Simple Gujarati Shaaks/Sabji:
Karela Nu Shaak – Stir fried Bitter Gourd
Fansi/ Posho Nu Shaak – Stir fried French Beans
Ingredients Required For Valor Nu Shaak:
- Fresh Valor – long hyacinth beans
- Fresh Peas
- Brinjal – eggplant, aubergine
- Vegetable Oil – any of your choice
- Garlic – minced or finely chopped
- Fresh Ginger – minced or grated
- Green Chillis – minced or finely chopped
- Mustard Seeds – rai
- Carom Seeds – ajmo, ajwain
- Asafetida – hing. Omit if you want a gluten free shaak. Or you can use organic hing that has no wheat flour added to it.
- Turmeric Powder – haldi
- Coriander Cumin Powder – Dhana Jiru – use homemade or ready made. Click on the name for homemade recipe.
- Sugar – a little is used to balance the flavors but its an optional ingredient.
- Fresh Coriander – cilantro, chopped
- Gluten Free if you don’t use asafetida
- Can omit garlic
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VALOR NU SHAAK/ STIR FRIED HYACINTH BEANS
- 500 g valor
- 1 cup fresh peas
- 1 medium brinjal
- 2 tbsps oil
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp chilli paste
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp carom seeds
- ¼ tsp asafoetida
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp coriander cumin powder
- ¼ tsp sugar
- 1 - 1¼ tsp salt
- 3 tbsps chopped fresh coriander
- Wash the valor. Snap the ends and remove them. Split open the pod. Snap into nearly 1 inch pieces. Check for wiggly worms.
- Cut the brinjal into medium cubes and leave in the water till required.
- Chop the garlic finely.
- Mix the valor, peas and brinjal.
- Heat oil in a wide pan.
- Add mustard, carom seeds. When they splutter, add asafoetida and garlic. Stir fry the garlic till it just begins to turn pink.
- Add turmeric powder, chilli and ginger paste. Mix well.
- Add the vegetables.
- Add salt and sugar and mix well.
- Cover the pan and cook the vegetable over low heat.
- Usually the water that comes out from the valor and brinjal is enough, but if the vegetable begins to stick to the pan, add ¼ cup of water.
- Cook till the vegetables are done. Add coriander cumin powder. Mix well.
- Garnish with chopped fresh coriander.
- Serve with dal and hot chappati.
- For a different taste add 2 tbsps of tomato puree when the vegetable is done. Cover and leave for 5 minutes.
- To make dhana jiru, roast 1 part coriander seeds over low heat. Then roast ¼ part cumin seeds. Stir all the time, roast till you hear a crackling sound. Grind both together and store in an airtight container.
- Prepare the vegetable ahead and warm it up before serving.
- You can make valor with potatoes, fresh pigeon peas, corn, etc.
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