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Bean in Black August 20, 2008

Posted by live2cook in Sauces and Gravies.

When I read the headline “For healthier foods, Turn to Black” in CNN, I was really impressed by the nutritional facts. Among the other foods, black beans and black teas seemed to be my pantry staples. Black beans attracted me more as I can get more meal ideas. So, I ventured to learn more about them.

We all know the protein and fiber content of legumes. But what makes these black legumes special? It is the Flavonoids that they hide in their black coating. Surprisingly, flavonoids are treated as foreign compounds by our body. While it tries to get rid of them, it generates an enzyme that also eliminates the cancer promoting substances called Carcinogens. Because of this ability of flavonoids to modify our body reaction to carcinogens and other viruses, it is called as “Biological response modifiers“. While I was reading these facts, it felt like the action movie, “Men in Black“.

Being aliens by themselves, these MIB agents direct alien activities on earth. In that process they save earth from terrorist aliens. Similarly the legumes hide the good flavonoids in their black coat and help save our body from cancer. Hence I coined the name “The Beans in Black“. Wouldn’t it be awesome to watch them in action? So, I got into action and prepared a recipe with my pantry staple Black gram.

Black gram is a pantry staple in most of the families in India. While southern people prepare crepes and steamed cakes with this legume, the people of North India are famous for mashed lentil recipes like this Malai Dhal (Creamed Black Gram).


2 Cups Whole Black Gram (soaked for 2 hours)
5-6 Garlic cloves
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
1 tsp salt
6 cups water
1 Tbsp ghee
1/4 cup Whipping cream (I used non fat dry milk powder)

For Garnish

1 tsp ghee
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 onion, cut lengthwise
2-3 green chilies, slit (optional)


1. Heat the ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the garlic and saute for a minute.
2. Add the ginger and drained dhal.
3. Add the water, salt and red chili powder.
4. Boil or pressure cook until the dhal is cooked, approximately 15 minutes. If you want creamy texture cook the dhal for 10 more minutes and mash a little bit.
5. Add the cream or dry milk powder. Stir well and remove from heat.
6. Heat a teaspoon of ghee and add cumin seeds, onion and slit chilies.
7. Saute until the onion turns to golden brown.
8. Top the dhal with the onion mixture. Garnish with cilantro and serve with cooked rice or flat breads.

Creamed Black Gram

Creamed Black Gram

This my entry for the event “My Legume Love Affair – Second helping” , hosted by Susan – the well seasoned cook



1. sangeeth - August 21, 2008

healthy indeed!

2. Lavi - August 21, 2008

It should have tatsed to good..Nice entry!

3. Bhawana - August 21, 2008

this looks great dear.

4. Susan - August 26, 2008

A very pretty presentation, Priya. I *almost* don’t want to disturb it.
Thank you for contributing this delicious, easy and healthy dish for MLLA2.

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