Papdi is not a common ingredient in Europe, but it is found in dishes throughout India, Southeast Asia, and East Africa. The plant is originally from East Africa. It is an important ingredient in many Gujarati dishes.
Papdi is a lentil, it is also called hyacinth bean, or lablab. Each pod contains 2-4 beans, which are soft like peas, but more firm. The pods are tender and edible and both parts are used in this shaak. We’ve started growing our own papdi, but before that I would buy it frozen from Indian grocery stores.
Fresh papdi takes a little more work to prep. A fibrous string has to be removed from each pod. Papdi can’t be consumed raw, because, like many beans, it has toxins that have to be cooked out to be removed.
Papdi nu Shaak is one of my favorite dishes with papdi. It is simple to make, flavorful vegetable dish. It goes great with roti or naan.
Papdi nu shaak
- 1 cup cilantro (finely chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 green chilies (finely chopped)
- 2 cups papdi, chopped
- 1 tbsp oil or ghee
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp ajmo (carom seeds)
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp hing (asafetida)
- salt to taste
- 1 squeeze lemon juice
- In a small bowl, mix the finely chopped cilantro, garlic and green chilies to make the masala
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Test the oil by adding a few mustard. If they sizzle and pop, the oil is hot enough. Now add the mustard seeds, ajmo (carom seeds), turmeric, and asafetida to the oil. Toast for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Add the papdi and salt to the pan. Mix well. Cover and cook for about 7-8 minutes until the beans have softened.
- Add the masala from the first step. Cook 3-4 minutes.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with a flatbread such as paratha, naan, or roti.