fava beans or bakla : a bean rich in L-dopa | recipe of bakla ki subzi
This vegetable is called as Bakla in Hindi and Fava beans or broad beans in the western world. Interestingly while trying to find out more about this bean I discovered that it's name is Bakalaink in Balochi language, Baghalee in Persian and Baqueela in Ethiopia. So the name Bakla might be a descendant from these languages and it may be an import from these regions.
The fava beans are rich in L-dopa, a substance used medically in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. L-dopa is also a natriuretic agent (causing discharge of sodium through urine) which might help in controlling hypertension.
Bakla is not as tasty and smooth as french beans so most of the people avoid this vegetable, it has a fibrous texture as the skin of the legume is a bit leathery and the seed coat is thick, but the plus point is that the seeds have a buttery smoothness. So when you chew the beans it bursts into a buttery abundance as the seeds are quite plump.
You can choose to buy the tender bakla if you don't like a fibrous bean but the buttery texture of the seeds will be there in the mature beans only. So choose what you like. I like it any which way, just cook it differently and you can enjoy both tender and mature beans.
This recipe is for the mature beans when the skin of the legume is ready to split and slip away exposing the fat plump seeds, full of flavor. The beans can be cooked in a skillet to avoid disintegrating the beans, but if you cook it in a pressure cooker and allow the beans to be pulpy the flavor of the seeds is enhanced, the seeds will be visible in that case as the skin disintegrates exposing the seeds.
Bakla or Fava beans tipped and tailed 2 cups (I had some extra seeds from mature beans)
whole dry red chillis 2 broken
ginger garlic minced 1 tbsp each
turmeric powder 1 tsp
salt to taste
mustard oil 2 tsp
pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
Heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker pan and fry onions till translucent , add the ginger garlic, fry for a seconds and add th cubed potatoes.
Add the turmeric powder and salt, add the prepared Bakla and toss and cook for 2 minutes.
Add 3-4 tbsp water and pressure cook till the first whistle blows.
Cool the cooker, open the kid and press some of the potatoes to get mushy as it makes the subzi more mixed up and take flavours of each other.
This is a good way of cooking Bakla or Fava beans if you are cooking it for the first time. We cook it with garam masala and other spics too or just a bhujia with garlic and green chillies.
You can also just saute the beans with butter, salt and pepper if the beans are tender.
Now that you know Fava beans are so good for the nervous system and overall health, there is more reason to cook it while the season lasts.
Dry Bakla beans are milled to make dal too. The dal is also used in various ways.