Saturday, April 30, 2011

Guar Ki Phalli (Cluster Beans)

Guar Ki Phalli or Cluster Beans are an integral part of Rajasthani cooking. Young, fresh cluster beans need to be topped and tailed. Sometimes they need stringing also. Unlike the regular green beans, cluster beans have a slightly bitter taste. To tone down the bitterness, they are always blanched before use.

In this recipe I have made Guar Ki Phalli with roasted besan (gram flour)

In US, Cluster Beans (Guar Ki Phalli) are available in Indian grocery shops, both fresh and frozen.


  • 2 cups of cut Guar Ki Phalli (Cluster Beans)
  • 1 small onion chopped finely
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp amchoor powder
  • 4 tbsp besan (gram flour)
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • 1 dry red chili broken into pieces
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil


  • Wash, destring and trim ends of Guar Ki Phalli.

  • Cut the Guars either by using a sharp knife or with your hands to pieces of one cm long. I remember my mother always preferred plucking the Guar Ki Phalli with hands.

  • Boil about 6-8 cups of water (enough water to dip the beans in it) in a pan. When water is boiled add Guar pieces in it. Add 1 tsp of salt and let it boil for about 1 minute until the beans are just tender or al dente. Usually one or two minutes are sufficient. Overcooked beans become flabby and flavorless, so do not overcook them.
  • Drain and allow them to cool. Squeeze out the water from the boiled beans when cold, by pressing between both the palms. Keep aside for later use.
  • While beans are cooking, in a small kadhai or wok roast the besan (without adding oil) until light brown. Keep aside for later use.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add asafetida, and cumin seeds. When the seeds begin to splutter, add chopped onion and the garlic. Stir-fry till brown; now add the broken dry red chili pieces and fry till they are little darker.
  • Add blanched cluster beans and stir-fry. Add salt, chili powder, turmeric powder, amchoor powder and the garam masala. Stir to mix well. Add the roasted besan and stir-fry till all are blended.
  • Serve with Dal and Roti.


Although young, fresh Guar Ki Phalli need to be only topped and tailed but some have hard fibrous strings which are preferably removed (destring) before chopping them.

The method to remove these strings is to simply tear the tip of the Guar with hand and then pull downward; if a thick thread comes away, the bean need stringing. So do the same on the other side also.

Do You Know?

The seeds of Guar beans have a large endosperm that contains galactomannan gum, a substance which forms a gel in water. This is commonly known as guar gum and is used in dairy products like ice cream and as a stabilizer in cheese and cold-meat processing.

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