How I like my beans.

January 4, 2017 Ramya M

Parents had few guests coming from native and mom wasn’t keeping too well. So I decided to go there and be of some help. I prepared and served the lunch, chopped onions, marinated chicken and was ready for my next task for the dinner.


For me, beans are the regular French beans and I never dwell into the cousins of a known accustomed vegetables. I may have tried, but I don’t think I have ever accepted the taste and feel of a new vegetable post my teens, except for Zucchini. I usually prefer good old familiar vegetables and meats that I was fed during my childhood and I guess it has something to do with my taste buds and loyal nature that is one of my core characteristics, as I like to believe.  


Mom, on the other hand, is always excited to put our palate to test. She brings out a bag of weirdly wild broad beans, which I am sure I have never seen before. The procedure to chop it is similar to French beans but these beans are flat, wide and have the biggest bean seeds I have ever seen.


She hands me over the bag of beans and I reluctantly spread it out on the kitchen slab. Mom told me to peel the strings from the sides like we usually do for any beans, and then thinly slice the remaining. I started de-stringing one by one and separating them from others. As I started slicing, big chunks of seeds came rolling out of the beans. The seeds were so thick and big in diameter that if you pick up and stare at a slice, you would mostly be looking at the seed and very less of the outer green layer. I know the seeds are part of the whole vegetable, but the sheer size of it made me feel it did not belong there. It was ruining the texture which was otherwise nice flaky and even slices of freshly cut beans.


I started removing the seeds from the sliced section, even the pieces that were still attached to the slices. I was almost through with half an hour of slicing 250gram beans, when my mom came back and placed a tight slap on my hand. I was so engrossed in carefully completing my task that I don’t know what shook me the most. My mom slapping me after ages or the sudden noise caused because of the slap. She was staring at the pile of seeds next to the collection of beautifully crafted slices. I knew she had caught me in my act of separating the seeds and from the looks of it, she was pissed. My weapon was taken from me and I was asked to leave the kitchen so she could finish the remaining 500gms in 5 minutes.


At the dinner table, I served myself a generous portion of the greens but as I ate, I started feeling restless. The seeds were there in the dish and it looked like a mess. It shouldn’t have been there. It did not belong there. I don’t know if it was my OCD compulsion that was provoked on seeing inconsistency in the dish or my natural aversion towards certain seeds. I don’t eat Peas. I spend good 10 minutes to carefully remove them from Mattar Paneer and Pulao. I have even removed a Pulao Rice stuck on a pea; such is the dislike. My husband and I have one major point of argument. Okra or Ladies Finger. I detest the vegetable only because of the slimy seeds inside.  


I looked at my mom who was talking to my dad but quickly shifted her glance on me. I guess she knew what I was going to do as she shook her head with disbelief and closed her eyes to control her anger towards me. The next 5 minutes, I just sat and finished the incomplete task. Towards the end I was satisfied and smiling, admiring my plate with beans on one side and seeds on the other. Now it was time to eat.

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