Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Beans, greens and the magic of mustard :).

Yes! that sounds quite poetic, isn't it :). Time to share something yummy made out of beans, greens and mustard. Ahem! Sorry, if that is a lil' misleading, but the beans here refer to the dried beans :-D. And which dried beans at that? The ones that poets have described as "beans wearing kohl", the ever pretty, easy to cook and experiment with: white lobia :-D. I must repeat that by itself lobia to me would taste a bit bland, though it has a unique subtle needs something else.....some spicing up, to bring out the real taste. Addition of bell peppers or ginger and garlic do wonders to these humble beans. It even works wonders in khichdi. And now, i pair them up with greens, the lovely beet greens, which add another dimension to this dish. The final touch is the magic of mustard.....

I am ever thankful for the e-potlucks and their lovely themes. But for them, i would usually not be as adventurous :). Sunita hosts one such cute get together, where we are supposed to think, about spices :). I enjoy that kind of thinking, the spicy thinking ;). This month, she wants us to think about mustard. As for an idea on mustard, i kept wondering.....and then finally decided to go to the good old mustard and garlic seasoning that i used for saru besara, with some modifications. So here's to the power of spices :).

Lobia-saag with mustard:

Today, lets bring together the pretty and subtle lobia and the gorgeous, delectable beet greens and spice them up with mustard, garlic and ginger. This topped with green chillies makes a yummy meal :).

Pretty looking beet greens :)

We need:

  • 1 cup lobia
  • 2 cups greens (chopped, i used beet greens)
  • 2 heaped tsp. mustard seeds (gorund coarse)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic and a 2" piece of ginger (both chopped or crushed)
  • 1 big ripe tomato (chopped)
  • 1-2 green chillies (slit)
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. amchoor or 1 tsp. lime/lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. oil
Pressure cook the lobia and beet greens for 4-5 whistles with 1 and 1/2 cup water (soaking is not necessary). Grind the mustard seeds into a coarse powder and prepare the chopped ginger and garlic. In a pan, heat oil and add 1 tsp. equivalent of ground mustard powder. Once the ground mustard leaves an aroma, add the ginger and garlic and saute'. Add the tomatoes and turmeric, and cook for 5 minutes. This should result in a thick paste. Mix the remaining mustard powder with this masala and add to the cooked lobia with greens. Add salt and amchoor/lime juice and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes (till the gravy thickens). Top it with slit green chillies, cover and let rest for 5 more minutes before serving.

Enjoy with chapatis, paranthas or rice :). Equally yummy with a nice dinner roll or Ciabatta bread :).

The greens add body and their unique flavor to the beans. While whole mustard seeds in a tempering primarily provide aroma and warmth, the ground mustard used here gives a spicy and pungent flavor to any dish. This magic of mustard, paired with ginger and garlic, uplifts the mellow beans and greens combo to a totally different level :).


Roopa said...

looks like a very delicious curry! lobia with mustard wow....:)

Rachna said...

lobhia with greens is new to me musy... i can imagine the rai tadka... looks good to dig in with a plain parantha....gosh im hungry

sunita said...

You've done some serious thinking indeed :D...thanks for the lovely entry.

Asha said...

YUMMY! Seriously delicious looking dish.Great combo with Lobia and greens.Good job Musie!:))

Mishmash ! said...

hey one doubt need for coriander powder or any thickening gravy agents here ?


evolvingtastes said...

Love lobia, love beet greens, I am sold. Are this just regular mustard seeds ground up in a dry grinder?

Sreelu said...

I never knew that beet leaves were edible. nice dish thanks for the recipe

musical said...


Thanks, dear :). Looks like you enjoy lobia too :).


The ground rai really adds a lot of zing to the whole dish, try it. You will surely enjoy it :).

musical said...


Thanks for making us think spicy ;). Am glad you liked this entry :).


Thank you so much! I loved the lovely spread you prepared today! And you like beet greens anyway, right :).


Yes, no thickening agents! We have lobia, greens and then tomatoes to give us a thick gravy. Plus after you add the tadka to cooked daal, you slow cook it. Simmering any daal or beans slowly leads to a thick and creamy texture.

musical said...

Evolving tastes:

Yes ji, this is regular mustard seeds, hand ground in a mortar for a miute or less. The result is a coarse powder.


Beet greens are not only edible, but quite delicious. The only problem is getting fresh greens, because usually in the super markets they are often neglected!

Sig said...

Well well well... Ms. Lobia queen is out there again... :) Lovely entry darling... :)

musical said...

Hey Sig,

Thanks, sweetie :).I knew you would have something to say here :-D.

Vcuisine said...

Musical they seems to be spicy and simple. lovely entry. Viji

musical said...


Thanks :). Yes indeed, it is a nice combo of simplicity and spicyness :).

swapna susarla said...

i never used beet greens.dal looks tempting!!

shilpa(Aayisrecipes) said...

This looks like a very healthy and delicious combo. I am bookmarking this recipe. Will check if I can get hold of some beet greens today.

Sharmi said...

looks like a very yummy dal. dal and achar are my comfort food esp when it is blend with some greens. simply glorious!

Pelicano said...

Ciabatta eh? ;-) This looks scrumptious and simple Musique; I love beet greens! And if that isn't enough, let me say I love beet greens. Did I tell you how much I love beet greens? :-D But I was wondering what colour the dish would be if I were to leave out the turmeric...hehehehehe

Shweta said...

Where do you get those ideas?? I'd love to try this!

musical said...


Thanks a lot! Beets are yummy, but their greens are equally nice :).


Thank you :). I am so glad that you liked this, hope you'll enjoy the taste.


Thanks :).You are echoing my thoughts: daal, hot achaar and rice (with a drizzle of ghee, may be) would amke the ultimate platter!

musical said...


Yessir, Ciabatta! Got it, you LOVE beet greens :-D. Oh, as for the color, it entirely depends on howw red the "greens" are, i mean how much stems do you use. I hardly had a singificat amount of the stems, so i had to add turmeric. It would have looked sinful with more stems! (Well, it did.....just that my camera phone captured a lighter hue, it looked yummy!). Btw, nothing should prevent you form adding a cpl. of tbsp. shredded beets to get a richer color :-D.


Thanks :). My chatora mind is behind this :-D.

TBC said...

I've not tried beet greens. As for ground mustard, I've only used that in a ground paste along with coconut.I don't know what the difference in taste would be like.
Interesting choice of ingredients.

Pelicano said...

I know what you mean! I search all around the open markets for the best greens on the beets...and the season is almost over here... :-(

musical said...


Beet greens are nice, i use them anytime i buy beets (usually the greens turn out to be fresh and usable). The ground mustard by itself is really fiery, with coconut it becomes a lil' mellow.


I know , the beet season is almost over! Enjoy the beets as much as you can :-D.

Sandeepa said...

Never used mustard as a powder before, that is something very new.

musical said...


Try it sometime, it tastes quite good!

shilpa(Aayisrecipes) said...

I tried it...It was super tasty.....Thanks for sharing..

musical said...

Hey Shilpa:

Thanks a lot! That really means a lot to me! Btw, your Mangalore bajjis/Goli baje were great as well :). I followed your recipe more or less and it turned out great!

chetna said...

Hi Musical

A very nice blogspot indeed...

The Lobia and Beet Greens recipe looks very yummy...will try it very soon..

Have never eaten beet greens before...

Keep it up !!!

musical said...


Thanks for the encouraging words, dear! I am glad you enjoyed the contents of this blog :).

Swetha said...

i recently came accross your blog and like your blog. i have also started a foodblog recently.keep up your good work and i wish u a very success.