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  • Writer's pictureVaishali A. Patel

Papadi or No papadi?

Updated: Apr 24, 2021

If you grew up in a Gujarati household you know what this vegetable or beans are. Many family members outside of India love growing this in their backyard so they can have this goodness fresh out of their gardens. The actual beans inside it have a distinct taste and especially the way this shaak is prepared. Papadi can be green or purple, long, short, small beans and large beans. There is one in particular that is called Surati Papadi and Vaalor Papadi. Cleaning and preparing these takes time but then any good thing worth having does, doesn't it?

"You don't put jeeru in the vaghaar for Papadi"- I was told when I was a young newly wed and was trying to impress my new family with my cooking skills. I did not grow up learning how to cook or in a foodie family but definitely married into one where people show love to each other by cooking, sharing and feeding exciting, delicious dishes to each other. Indian spice box - Masala no dabbo has certain spices in particular Rai(mustard seeds), Jeeru(cumin seeds) and Ajmo(Ajwain seeds) for tempering (Tadakaa or Vaghaar). Specific shaak or dishes take any combination of these three. I learned that Papadi nu shaak tastes way better when you use Ajmo in the vaghaar.

Here is a simple recipe I have learned from my mother in law:


1tbsp oil

1 tsp ajmo seeds

1/2 tsp rai/mustard seeds(optional)

1 cup prepared Papadi (discard everything else but the beans and tender(kumadi) ones in pieces)

1/2 tsp haldi (Turmeric powder)

1 tsp Salt

2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced green chili peppers

3/4 cup of Water


In a small pressure cooker (You need this or you can cook longer in a regular pot as this will take a little longer to cook then other beans), add the oil

add the ajmo seeds and let them pop or brown slightly

add the garlic, salt and turmeric

add the bean

add the chili minced

add the water, stir and let it cook for at least 3-4 whistles on the pressure cooker or for 7-10 min on medium heat on a stove top.

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