The Unsung Bean – Chawli

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

Chawli or lobia or black-eyed beans are small, cream-colored beans with a black ‘eye’ – a point where the bean was attached to its pod. A common ingredient in most Indian households, chawli is frequently used in Indian meals, as well as in South American and African cuisines. Although consumed widely in India, it has never quite gotten its due! The black-eyed beans are an important part of certain recipes like Kerala’s olan or Punjab’s lobia masala. The somewhat sweet and earthy flavour of the beans offers a charming deviation from the lentils; however we seldom experiment with the beans much.

Black-eyed beans – a super protein

Chawli Nutrition

The black-eyed beans are a wonder legume! Chockfull of chawli nutrition and delectable in texture and flavour, they are fantastic for curries and gravies. Importantly, they are easier to digest than most other kinds of beans.

  • The black-eyed beans are one of the high protein pulses. It is a nutrient dense legume with 1 cup of cooked chawli providing about 220 calories, 15 grams protein and 11 grams fibre.
  • These beans are a perfect food for people who wish to lose weight. They keep you feeling fuller for longer and make sure that you don’t reach out for unhealthy snacks - one of the important chawli nutrition facts.
  • The beans also help maintain normal blood sugar levels, making them ideal for diabetics.
  • The fibre content perks up digestion too, battling constipation and GI tract disorders.
  • These wonder beans also contain a good amount of folate, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, copper and thiamin, fulfilling approximately 20% of our everyday requirement for these nutrients.
  • Packed with robust antioxidants, they prevent free radical damage.

Delicious and diverse black-eyed beans recipes

1.Chavali Chi Usal – This signature Maharashtrian dish is a curry made with fresh coconut, fennel seeds, and coriander seeds. This mildly spiced dish is a staple in Maharashtrian households, usually paired with steamed rice. A simple, easy to make dish, which is healthy and wholesome.

2.Alasandalu Vada – Chawli, Alasandhi as it is known in Kannada, is used to make vada (fritters) around the festival of Sankranti all over Andhra Pradesh. It is also a very popular street food. These simple vadas are healthier alternatives. Alasandalu Vada is made using soaked chawli and rice flour along with various spices and ginger-garlic paste. A must-try for street food enthusiasts.

3.Punjabi Lobia Masala – Chawil is also known as lobia in many parts of India. This Punjabi-style curry is an amalgamation of various spices cooked in a tomato and onion-based gravy along with soaked chawli. It is often cooked in a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time and ensure that the lobia is well cooked. This curry definitely deserves a spot on your weekly menu.

4.Chawli Koddel – This is a popular dish made in Konkani and Mangalorean cuisines. Similar to the Maharashtrian version, this curry is coconut based. At the same time, Chawli Koddel includes vegetables such as cucumbers, string beans or leafy vegetables. It also has a touch of tamarind to add a tinge of sourness. Another delicious way to consume these healthy beans.

Loaded with taste and nutritive value, chawli is easy to cook. Depending on the recipe, these beans do not need to be soaked overnight and cook fast as well - being a great advantage for chawli nutrition seekers. Tata Sampann Chawli retains its nutritional value since the beans are not polished and the husk of the legume isn’t sliced off. Making it the ideal choice for your culinary endeavours.


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