Lima Bean Masala Print Email

1 (20-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans (about 2-½ cups), thawed
2 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (see tips)
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander, freshly ground
1 teaspoon red chili powder
2 tablespoons fresh coconut, shredded
1-½ teaspoons salt
¼ cup Greek yogurt
2 jalapeño peppers
4 dried red chiles, as needed
1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
2 sprigs cilantro (optional), for garnish

Using a paring knife, create a 2-inch incision in the jalapeño peppers. Set aside.

In a large pan, heat the canola oil. Cook the onions for about 6-8 minutes until soft and nicely golden. Leaving as much oil as possible in the pan, transfer to a platter. Set aside.

In the same pan, add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, ground coriander, red chili powder and dried red chiles. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (if used). Once the ginger garlic paste is fragrant, add the onions and yogurt. Cook for about 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Add the shredded coconut and lima beans. Add 2 to 2-½ cups of water; the water should barely cover the beans. Bring to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer for about 1 hour. Add the jalapeño peppers and 1-½ teaspoons of salt half-way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the beans and they'll be more tender) and keep stirring every now and then so the beans don't stick to the bottom of the pot.

Once the water evaporates, check the softness of the beans (add water and cook a bit longer if not fully cooked). Transfer one third the amount of cooked lima beans into the bowl of an immersion blender. Coarsely blend the mixture and pour it back into the pot. Depending on how thick you like the gravy, you can blend more lima beans. Add little mounds of ghee into the lima beans. Adjust seasoning and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes over low-heat. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro.

Serve with basmati rice, naan or paratha (Indian flat bread).

Yields: 10 servings