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Help identify this pea/mangetout thing


SylviaLovegren
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Got these in a Pakistani market the other day. The owner didn't know what the name was but just said to cook them "like spinach" in oil and then eat the whole thing. Which I did. Had to string them first and then wished I'd stringed them more, but the cooked flesh was tender and the inner seeds/peas were soft, the taste was very beany. Only cooked them a few minutes in some oil with a little salt.

Anyone have any idea what they are? Couldn't find them on google but I'm probably not looking in the right place. Each pod is about 6 inches long. IMG_0252.jpg

Thanks!

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If it IS lablab, we're poisoned! We cooked it "like spinach" in oil with some salt, just a few sprinkles of water to help the pods soften. Wiki says lablab needs to be boiled with water changed a couple of times to get rid of toxins.

The fruit and beans are edible if boiled well with several changes of the water.[9] Otherwise, they are toxic due to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides, glycosides that are converted to hydrogen cyanide when consumed. Signs of poisoning include weakness, vomiting, dyspnea, twitching, stupor, and convulsions.[9

The pods did have some purple on the "string" section, so maybe they were lablab. Great.

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Nice knowing you, Sylvia. If the twitching and convulsions start getting to you, just put some bass-heavy music on and tell yourself you're at a club.

Seriously - post again tomorrow so we know you're OK.

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Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
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More about lablab/hyacinth beans:

Hyacinth beans also contain compounds called cyanide-releasing glycosides. Our bodies convert these into hydrocyanic acid, a cellular poison. These compounds are not present in the green-podded beans in appreciable quantities. The purple-podded varieties, on the other hand, seem to contain a substantial amount of this toxin.
http://www.tropicalplantsociety.org/Article_10_10b.html

So you may have eaten the far less toxic green variety. Thorough cooking will detoxify the beans. The article has more details.

Cyanogenic glycosides are also present in cassava, which I've encountered in Thai cooking. I was taught that cooking cassava changes the natural cyanide in it so that it is no longer toxic. I was cautioned to cook cassava well.

Edited by djyee100 (log)
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I'm here and unscathed. But I'm not sure I'm going to be eating lablabs any time in the near future. My only worry is what to tell the hubster, who loved them and is eager to buy more. He is a super hypochondriac, so if I tell him they are poisonous he'll drive me mad trying to find symptoms ("you don't think that burp means I'm dying, do you?"). Hmmm. Strategies, strategies.

Edited by SylviaLovegren (log)
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I was told that the first sign of natural cyanide poisoning would be an irritation in the stomach. If neither of you has felt that yet, you probably won't.

You could cook these beans per the recommended method, i.e., thorough boiling, then saute the cooked beans a bit with oil and salt. Serve with a generous, relaxing glass of wine, then tell your husband what he's eating. :biggrin:

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  • 1 month later...

I was at an Indian grocery on Saturday and picked up these two bean varieties. The storekeeper identified them (and on the receipt) as round "Valor" beans & flat "Valor" beans respectively. Another lady in the store with whom I spoke identified them as "Sim" beans (she is from Orissa).

DSCN0636a_1k.jpg

The internet (and the Wiki article referenced in a previous post) identify Valor beans and Sim beans as synonyms for hyacinth beans and lablab beans, with "Sim" also variously spelled as "Shim", "Sem", etc. while "Valor" beans are also referred to (so it seems) as "Val" beans and other more specific names depending on the region and the variety. (Valor beans Google search) One notes that various varieties are known, due to extensive breeding &etc and certainly exist in both flat and round shapes.

Some recipes for these beans:

http://sanolisrecipies.blogspot.com/2013/01/runner-beans-shim-bharta.html (flat type, called "shim"; note markings on the spine);

http://ushnish.blogspot.com/2009/12/broad-beans-with-coriander-leaves-and.html (flat type, called "sim");

http://www.ahomemakersdiary.com/2011/08/tel-shim-hyacinth-beans-in-mustard.html (flat type, called "shim");

http://chilipaperchains.wordpress.com/2010/04/25/valor-bateta-nu-shak-hyacinth-bean-and-potato-curry/ (round type, with commentary on the name);

http://zaiqa.net/category/vegetablestarkariyaan/sword-beanssem-ki-phalli/ (flat type, with commentary on the name);

and so on.

Another picture showing the round type w/ synonyms for the name also given:

http://www.agefotostock.com/en/Stock-Images/Rights-Managed/Y7I-1662543

Edited by huiray (log)
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