Long beans, also known as long podded cowpea, snake bean, yardlong bean, choda, chawli ki subji, or chawli, are a type of green vegetable that is available throughout the year. They are 12 to 30 inches long, slender, and generally pale green to dark green in color, depending on the variety.
Although red-colored varieties may also be seen in the market at times. Each pod consists of small edible peas within, which are light green in color. The crisp, tender pods are eaten both fresh and cooked.
History of Long Beans:
Long beans have a long and rich history that dates back to ancient times. It is believed that long beans originated in Africa and were introduced to Asia by traders. They have been cultivated in China for over 2,000 years and have since spread to other parts of the world, including India, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.
Nutritional Benefits of Long Beans:
Long beans are a low-calorie vegetable and an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. They are also rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Long beans are also a good source of folate, iron, and magnesium, which are essential nutrients for maintaining good health.
Cooking with Long Beans:
Long beans are versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways, including stir-frying, steaming, boiling, and grilling. They can be used in soups, stews, salads, and curries, and can also be pickled or preserved. When cooking with long beans, it is essential to remove the tough outer stringy layer before using them. To do this, simply snap off the stem end and pull the string down the side of the bean.
Stir-frying is one of the most popular ways to cook long beans. To stir-fry long beans, heat a wok or skillet over high heat and add some oil. When the oil is hot, add the long beans and stir-fry for a few minutes until they are tender-crisp. You can add other ingredients such as garlic, ginger, onions, or meat to create a delicious and healthy dish.
Another popular way to cook long beans is to steam them. To steam long beans, place them in a steamer basket or on a rack in a pot with some water. Cover the pot and steam for about 5-7 minutes until the beans are tender. You can season them with some salt, pepper, and butter for a simple and delicious side dish.
Storage Tips for Long Beans:
Long beans can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To store them, place them in a plastic bag or container and keep them in the crisper drawer. Do not wash them before storing, as the excess moisture can cause them to spoil more quickly. If you have too many long beans, you can also freeze them for later use. To freeze them, blanch them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then rinse them in cold water and pat them dry. Place them in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months.
In conclusion, long beans are a healthy and delicious vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. They are packed with nutrients and antioxidants and are a great addition to any diet. Whether you stir-fry them, steam them, or pickle them, long beans are sure to add flavor and nutrition to your meals. We hope this guide has been helpful in introducing you to the world of long beans and inspires you to try them out in your own cooking.