- Healthy meal or side dish
- Quick to make (10 minute prep, 15 minute cooking time)
- Vegetarian, Vegan (Gluten-free if you skip hing)
- Only need a handful of simple Indian spices
Guvar, guar or gawar means cluster beans. In Gujarati, shaak is a dish made of vegetables and spices. So, there are many shaak recipes such as bhinda nu shaak (okra) or gobi matar (peas and cauliflower).
Cluster beans or guar beans are native to India and can be found easily in Indian grocery stores. While they look similar to French Beans they are different. Cluster beans are smaller, thinner and have a slight bitter taste while French beans are longer, thicker and do no have a bitte taste.
Don’t let the distinct taste of these beans deter you from this yummy simple gawar recipe. Guvar nu shaak is no where near as bitter as karela and karela nu shaak can be pretty yummy, if made correctly!
Cluster beans: the ends of the beans should be removed and then the bean chopped into small about ¼- ½ inch size pieces
Oil: neutral cooking oil, which will be used for tadka
Red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder (I use a dhana jeeru blend), salt and sugar
Optional: Garlic cloves (I love adding it!) and chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves for garnish
Note: Tadka can be made of cumin seeds or mustard seeds as well. However, ajwain provides a great complementary taste to gawar beans.
Making Gawar Recipe
First, you will steam the guvar (chopped cluster beans) with a little water as they can have a bit of a tough exterior
Then, in the same pot you will add spices. Sprinkle the spices on top of the cluster beans, don’t mix. This is because you will pour the tadka on top to enhance the flavor the spices in the sabzi.
Next, prepare the tadka and pour on top of the spices all around the dish. Mix and let cover a few minutes.
Note: if you are adding garlic, add the finely chopped garlic after you add the ajwain to the tadka.
Last, top with chopped cilantro / coriander (optional) and this simple side dish is ready!
Note: if you prefer, you can use a pressure cooker or Instant Pot to cook the guvar beans as well.
If you’d like to serve multiple shaaks as part of a Gujarati thali, peas cauliflower nu shaak or bhinda nu shaak are two other very easy ones you can make. Others include karela nu shaak or bharela bhinda. Shaaks are generally a simple recipe to follow. Shalgam sabzi (Indian turnip recipe) is also an easy and delicious.
How to freeze gawar ki sabzi?
You can make the shaak and freeze it. Make sure to store in a freezer safe container or bag. Move to the fridge the night before serving to defrost. Reheat in a pan on low heat before serving.
Guvar Nu Shaak (Gawar Sabzi, Gawar Recipe)
- 1 Non stick pan
- 1 small tadka pan
- 3½ cups chopped guvar (gawar, cluster beans) 380g
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp cumin coriander powder (dhana jeeru)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp caraway seeds (ajmo, ajwain)
- ½ tsp asafetida (hing)
- 2 cloves garlic optional, finely chopped
- Put chopped guvar/gawar in a pan with water and salt. Turn gas on to medium. Mix, cover and let cook about 8-10 minutes. Mixing once or twice in between.
- Once guvar are fork tender turn gas to low-medium. Add red chili powder, turmeric, cumin coriander powder and sugar. Don't mix, you will pour tadka on top of the spices.
- Make tadka: On a separate burner, heat oil on medium-high. Add ajwain (caraway seeds). Let them begin to "swim" around and cook which will take about 2-3 minutes. If adding optional garlic then add now. Then add asafetida (hing) and turn off gas.
- Pour the tadka on top of the spices (this helps bring more flavor). Mix well and let cook on medium-low for 2-3 minutes.
- Optionally top with chopped coriander/cilantro.