Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various sites and portals in the internet.
Dry vegetables are an integral part of the routine meals all over the globe. They are much popular in our country that is India. There are a variety of dry vegetables prepared in our country using the various vegetables as well as different techniques are undertaken in preparing them and some of these dishes are really very tasty and are simply mouth-watering ones. Many vegetables can be relished as dry vegetables while many others are better suited for curries. Some vegetables go well in both types of these preparations.
French bean is one of the vegetables which is available across the globe and is liked by many people because of its unique taste and flavour. Green vegetables like this are very nutritious and useful for our health and provide many minerals and vitamins to us.
French bean is not a native vegetable to India because it was brought by the Britishers when India was a colony under it but today it is one of the most abundant and easily available one in Indian markets. We have some native varieties of beans also which are having different flavours and different tastes but out of all those, the french bean is definitely the one which most people like as the best of the lot.
French beans are rich in dietary fibre and contain many vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and copper.
We have used a microwave oven as the cooking medium for this dish in this recipe but people who are not very comfortable and do not feel convenient with the microwave oven can resort to the conventional cooking methods using a pan and stove for preparing this dry vegetable. Many people have microwave oven in their houses but they use it only for heating purpose which is actually underutilisation of that powerful gadget. Those who are not much aware or not well versed with microwave cooking can go to the end of this article and find some basic learnings regarding use of microwave for cooking purposes.
The quantity of ingredients mentioned below will suffice for 3 to 4 persons when taken during the main meals along with other food items.
The dish would take about half an hour time.
- French bean - 200 to 250 grams (about 40 to 50 numbers).
- Potato - 2 Nos.
- Onion - 1 to 2 Nos.
- Garlic - 6 to 8 cloves.
- Cumin seed - 1 tsp.
- Coriander powder - 1-1/2 tsp.
- Turmeric powder (optional) - 1/2 tsp.
- Mango powder - 1 to 1-1/2 tsp
- Carom (Saunf) seed - 1/2 tsp.
- Red chilly (optional) - 1 No.
- Cooing oil - 1 tbsp.
- Salt to taste.
Wash the beans and potatoes and drain them. Cut the beans in small pieces preferably not more than quarter an inch. Peel the potatoes, onion, and garlic. Cut the potatoes in wedge shaped pieces about 6 to 8 pieces each potato. Chop the onion and garlic finely.
Take a microwave bowl preferably having a thick-walled glass and put chopped onion, chopped garlic, cumin seed, coriander powder, turmeric powder (optional), mango powder, carom (saunf) seed, red chilly (optional), and salt in it and pour cooking oil over it and mix all these items using a spatula. Now keep the bowl in the microwave and cook it for 3-4 minutes in high heat. Remove the bowl and add 1-2 spoons of water and stir it. Now add potato and bean pieces to it and add about 1 cup of water and cook it for 12 to 14 minutes till it is cooked and gets dried up. One precaution that we have to take at this point is to check for dryness about 4-5 minutes ahead of end-time as that would help us in observing the dryness in the dish and we can add some little water at that stage itself to avoid charring of the dry vegetable which is an often happening thing in microwave cooking. If the dish is not dried up to the desired consistency then it can be cooked for 1-2 minutes more to get the desired results.
The dish is ready now and can be taken out of the microwave oven.
Before keeping in microwave for final cooking
Dish is ready
The dish is to be served during the main meals along with other food items and goes well with bread as well as rice. The present quantity is sufficient for 8-10 servings and can be served with a serving spoon. As this is a dry vegetable it can be served directly on the platter.
- For health conscious people or people on diet this dish can be prepared without using potatoes.
- Cooking oil can also be avoided as it is not necessary to use that in microwave cooking. However in absence of oil the taste of dish would not be so charming.
- By increasing the quantity of onions by 1 or 2 onions and adding 1 to 2 tomatoes or 1 tbsp of tomato sauce the dish can also be made to work as fillings for sandwiches.
- Pieces of slightly cooked cottage cheese and boiled eggs can be mixed in this dry vegetable to enhance the taste and children would love to eat it.
- Some people consume it by adding a little quantity of curd or hung curd to it. That is of course based on personal liking.
One single serving of the above dish considering all the ingredients comes to about 40 to 45 calories. If we do not add oil and potato to this dish then one serving would give only 10 to 15 calories.
Many people use microwaves just for heating food items. But it can be used for a variety of cooking purposes from cooking snacks to full meals easily and conveniently. The main difference between microwave cooking and other modes of cooking is that in microwave cooking we have to be very careful not to use any metallic or non-microwave bowls for cooking purposes and another caution is to use a proper and appropriate quantity of water in the dish. Please note that if we don't use a sufficient quantity of water then there are ample chances of getting the dish charred and turning into something like coal and it will be a big source of disappointment to the novice cook.
When we are preparing curries in the microwave then there is no problem because we can put a sufficient amount of water in it and then there is no question of drying up of the dish. The problem comes when we prepare dry vegetables where we want the water just to evaporate or used up in cooing and the dish becomes deliciously consumable. As a rule of thumb when we prepare dry vegetables for 3-4 people then the amount of water required would be approximately from 3/4 to 1 cup and that is more than sufficient.
Microwave ovens generally have 4 to 5 ranges of temperatures ranging from very high to very low and for preparing the dry vegetables we prefer to use the very high or high setting of the temperature. When we are thickening the curries, we can use medium temperatures and if we want to keep the dish simply warm for some time then we will be using very low-temperature mode.
Never forget to add water to the dry vegetables before keeping them in the microwave for cooking. This is a very important point and if there is some confusion or doubt in the mind about it then it would be advisable to check the dish condition anytime by stopping the microwave and taking out the bowl and mixing some water at that stage if needed.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Umesh Chandra Bhatt