Sun drying vegetables in summer is very common here in India. Sun drying is the oldest method to preserve vegetables. Chillies, lady's finger, bitter gourd, brinjal, cluster beans,sundakkai are some vegetables which are commonly sun dried. They are known as "Vathal" in Tamil. Today we will learn how to sun dry cluster beans or how to make kothavarangai vathal following this easy recipe.
|Sun Dried Vegetable-Kothavarangai vathal|
Select fresh and a little matured cluster beans for making vathal. Do not buy tender ones.
Wash cluster beans (guar beans in Hindi) well.
Bring water to boil in a pan, add salt needed. When water starts boiling, add the cluster beans and cook on medium flame for 4 minutes. Switch off and let it remain in the water for another 6-7 minutes.You just have to blanch the cluster beans. Do not over cook.
After 6-7 minutes, drain the water completely and spread the cluster beans on a plate to cool. Leave it over night. Cover it with a thin cloth.
The next day- Take 1/4 cup of buttermilk, add a little chilli powder to it and mix well. Add the buttermilk mixture to the cluster beans, mix well and dry it in the sun the whole day.
In case, if there is excess buttermilk, take the cluster beans from the buttermilk and dry buttermilk and the vegetables separately. In the evening, put the cluster beans back into the buttermilk. Dry it in the same manner for 3-4 days or until it is completely dehydrated. Store it in an air tight container.
Heat oil in a kadai, fry needed dried cluster beans and remove it on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Crunchy and delicious kothavarangai vathal can be served as a side dish for curd rice, sambar sadam, Keppai koozh or kambu koozh (coming soon) or can be had as such as a snack. You can also make vathal kuzhambu with sun dried vegetables
|Fried Kothavarangai Vathal|
Check out my tomato pickle using sun dried tomatoes. You can just mix the pickle with hot steamed rice, drizzle a tsp of ghee/sesame seed oil and have it. It tastes heavenly. You can also have it as a side dish for idli, dosa or curd rice or chapati.
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