Saturday, July 28, 2007

Y for Yam with black-beans :)

Yes, Y is for Yam, a name that's been claimed by both Amorphophallus (Suran) and Dioscorea (Sweet potatoes), depending on the place on the globe :). Since where i live, Dioscorea is easily available and is called Yam, i am using this in my recipe (was that a disclaimer?). Now, i do have my thoughts on what we calls Yams here in the US. These are also referred to as sweet potatoes, but to my palette, they are not nearly as sweet and starchy as the desi shakarkand (sweet potatoes)-and i am thrilled about it, because that makes them a perfect replacement for the Amorphophallus (the stuff we call Yam in India)! Today, i am pairing the yams with black-beans, and folks, let it be known, i am thrilled with the outcome :)).

The plus is that if get lazy while making this dish, you'll end up with something good half-way through still (ahem, that was kind of a note to self), he he ;). Feel free to try this with raw plantain, cassava or any starchy vegetables/tubers etc., and yes, that includes potatoes :)). Black beans may be replaced by lobias, fava beans, rajma/kidney beans or chana/garbanzos. And this dish is for the A-Z e-potluck at Nupur's place :).

So, here's the how-to:

We need:

  • 1 cup cubed yams
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 5-6 mild green chillies-crushed/equivalent amount of bell peppers-chopped (optional, i used them and love them)
  • 1 onion (finely sliced)
  • A 2" (atleast) piece of ginger (julienned)
  • 1 big, ripe tomato (chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp. each shah-jeera (black-cumin) and dhaniya (coriander seeds)
  • Turmeric (very little, as a spice) and red chilli powder (if you are not using green chillies or settle for bell-peppers)
  • Salt to taste
  • Amchoor/lime juice to taste (if you like it a lil' tangy)
  • 1 tsp. oil/melted ghee
  • A pinch of garam masala
  • Kasuri methi or Chopped Cilantro (for garnish and aroma)
First, lets peel and cube the yams-this may be a lil' difficult. So, we can put the yams in boiling water for a few minutes or microwave the tubers for 2 minutes. After cubing them, we microwave the cubes for 3-4 minutes. While we are doing this, we also have soaked the black beans in warm water (though its not necessary, just pressure cook them an extra cpl. of whistles if you choose not to soak them). These beans are pressure cooked atleast 5 whistles, if soaked before. And the action begins now! We heat the ghee/oil, splutter the jeera and dhania and saute' the onions. This is followed by adding ginger, and after 2-3 minutes adding the chopped tomatoes-all this while we are stirring this stuff :). We now add the crushed green chillies or chopped bell peppers and cook for 2-3 more minutes and then add turmeric and (if using) the red chilli powder and souring agent like amchoor or lime juice. The next step is to add the microwaved yams, stir them in and cook 5 more minutes.

What next? From here, either we choose to cook the black beans and yams together or cook yams for 5 more minutes, add salt to taste, add some cilantro and have it with parantha or chapati or even roll yourself a nice burrito with this sabzi and cooked black beans plus some cheese-or may be a quesadilla :). I did the former (although many a time, i settle for the latter). To do that, we just add the cooked yams to the pressure cooked black beans and simmer on low heat till the gravy thickens. Lets garnish this with cilantro and enjoy! The chunky, cubed, bordering on sweet yams in the luscious dark black beans gravy is just bliss! I had this combo for dinner with chapati and the my lunch next day was a burrito from boiled beans and cooked yams! Or do it like they do here in one Pita place close to where i work: Black beans (and lets add the yams too) and melted cheese with some salad in the pita-to make what they call as a bean wowshi!

There's more yams for you here :). Enjoy the yummy yams, your way!


Suganya said...

The second picture is so colorful and yumilicious (How did I come up this word??!!)

bhags said...

black beans and yams, a rare combination....burrito idea is very creative and the dish too appealing to resist....:)

Anita said...

Musical, is there an Indian name for the black beans? We do have them in Kashmir and they are called 'varyamooth" and prepared with must have had them, I'm sure!

Saju said...

that's an interesting combination, looks very tasty too. I am not a yam lover, but am tempted to try this.

Nupur said...

Now this is one delicious and nutritious meal: both sweet potatoes and black beans are just overflowing with goodness!

Asha said...

I love the first Yam dish M! Black tends to color everything we add in even they are colorful,better keep Yam separate.Both are nutritions and yummy dishes though.

Vcuisine said...

Nice entries Musical. Both are looking great and that too with yam. Viji

trupti said...

my gosh what a beautiful looking recipe! This, with cold dahi and hot parathas....kya kehna?


musical said...


Thats a good word ;) and i am thrilled you think this dish is yummilicious :-D. Thank you, dear!


You are right, i have only recently
started trying yams with daals. Potatoes are the usual ones to eb paired with beans. Worked well in the end :). The burrito is a quick, but lovely meal, isn't it. Thank you, dear.

musical said...


I'have had varyamuth, but sadly don't know of any Hindi name for it.....haven't even seen them being sold in regular kirana stores in Punjab or even Delhi! where do you buy them from? and yes, gogoj paired with blackbeans or rajma is YUMM! may we get the recipes now ;).


It is nice, believe me. You may try it with the black beans and replace yams with potatoes, raw plantains, tapioca etc etc. works quite well too that way.

musical said...


Thanks a lot , dear! I agree, black beans are not just rich in protein, but have high pigment content too. The highest antioxidant content amongst any beans! so guilt free taste :-D.


Thanks :). I love the beans and yam combo. I usually make this with either aloo or elephant yam, you can try with those if you feel black beans mask the color of sweet potatoes.

musical said...


Thanks dear. I am glad you liked them :).


Aavi jao :). Will make you paranthas and some nice chai too :). take care, sweetie.


Anita said...

Looks like Birthday wishes are in order...happy Birthday, dear Musical!

musical said...

Ain? Nope Anita.....not now :-D. In January!! where did you get this B'day from ;). but good wishes are always welcome, especially from a dear friend like you :).

Foodie said...

Absolutely no words dear, too good.
I actually had cuban fritters with similar taste they were made from Plantain and black beans. To be precise the plantain balls were stuffed with black beans and it was simply too good.

musical said...

Hey Foodie,

Thanks for the props, sweetie :). Now that you have told me about those fritters, i just HAVE to try them :).

hugs to you too,

Sig said...

great combo musie, the yams looks great on its own, but I am sure it tasted great with black beans too... :)

Roopa said...

wow another combo with yams! hmm great entry:)

bee said...

this is a wonderful recipe. pretty much a one-pot-meal ! --jai

musical said...


Yes, yams are really good even by themselves, but sometimes one feels like indulging ;). btw, do you like yams?


Thanks, dear :). Enjoy the yam fest :-D.


Thank you :). You are right! No chapati, rice etc. needed :-D.

Tee said...

I loved the yam & beans combo! What a neat idea! Thanks for the delicious recipe.

musical said...

Hey Tee,

Thanks you :). i love it too :-D.

Pelicano said...

A bean wowshi? 8-O :-) You wanna know what's really good too? A few years ago I started putting cubed sweet potatoes into chickpeas with tomato-and-garlic sauce! Really, really good! I think that dish is Punju, yes?

Richa said...

loved the combo :) that 2nd pic is mouth watering :) i've had black beans only in mexican cuisine, time to try other varieties like these :)

bee said...

i would so love to try this: with cassava and fava beans. i love them both.

musical said...


I have made Chickpeas with sweet potatoes, and i like them. Its not traditional dish, but more of experimental Punju cuisine. But yes, i love it :-D.


Am glad that this makes you wanna' try black beans :). Do try it, dear-tuhanu bahut pasand aayega. i am getting idea to try it with double beans :-D.


Cassava works so well with beans! Do try this, am sure you'll like it.

Pelicano said...

Well, give it (chickpeas with sw. potatoes) 100 years or so...then it'll be classic Punju. :-) All good things started somewhere! ;-)

musical said...


Good food is just that, good food :-D. Traditional or experimental, if its good, its on my plate ;).

Pelicano said...

On my plate too...but not for long!

musical said...


i agree ;).

Sharmi said...

ohh the color of that curry has gone dark. this is a very nice and different one for "Y". I have never tried that beans.

musical said...

Hey Sharmi:

Try the black beans, they taste yummy! The color is because of the pigments in this beans, which also makes it very healthy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Musical,
Can you tell me, are these the same thing as the Mexican "black beans" one finds in the U.S.? They appear identical. Thanks for your help!

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