Weather With You ~ Spicy Brinjal with Shelly Beans

spicy brinjal with shelly beans
spicy brinjal with shelly beans

More lyrics, tonight πŸ™‚

This time it’s an old favorite by Crowded House.

Listen here or just read, here πŸ™‚

“Walking ’round the room singing Stormy Weather
At 57 Mount Pleasant Street
Well it’s the same room but everything’s different
You can fight the sleep but not the dream

Things ain’t cooking in my kitchen
Strange affliction wash over me
Julius Ceasar and the Roman Empire
Couldn’t conquer the blue sky

Well there’s a small boat made of china
It’s going nowhere on the mantlepiece
Well do I lie like a lounge room lizard
Or do I sing like a bird released

Everywhere you go
Always take the weather with you…”

— excerpt from Weather With You
(Neil Finn / Tim Finn)


Given that choice, this bird will sing, thank you πŸ™‚

If only Nupur had time for another series; let’s say: The A-Z of Weather and Veggies!

I am prepared with “S is for Snow and Spicy Brinjal with Shelly Beans” πŸ˜‰

wall 'o beans oct 4
wall ‘o beans ~ beginning of october

wall o'beans oct 23
wall o’beans ~ this morning

A heavy, wet snow fell overnight and the sun rose feebly over a winter wonderland complete with frosted trees and garden. Sadly, the weight of the snow was such that the sweet old apple tree out front was nearly toppled. Time will tell whether it recovers.

apple tree snowed under
the poor apple tree ~ nearly touching the ground

With snow covering the plants, and more lurking on the horizon, we hurried to finish harvesting the last of the garden. A few days ago we got in the last of the tomatoes and brinjals, a lot of peppers and a few other goodies. It had been unusually warm so we let the garden grow…

late harvest in northern michigan
late harvest in the north woods ~ few days ago

Today, in the fickle in-and-out sunshine of late afternoon, we picked all of the shelly beans and *another* big mess of papdi beans. I have no doubt these papdi would keep growing and growing. They are flowering yet. Perhaps next year I will plant them where they don’t have to be taken down with the fence! πŸ˜‰

fresh papdi beans ~ variety priya
latest, greatest, and probably last mess of papdi beans ~ these will be prepared simply so DG can get a taste of them πŸ™‚

OK, but what on earth are shelly beans? Good question!

Shelly beans are described nicely here in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and also here at BBB Seeds.

I have grown them in the past, but I didn’t know them as shelly beans. I knew them as horticultural or cranberry beans, and cooked them in succotash only.

Mom sent a few seeds of those cranberry beans for the Michigan garden. Planted in July alongside the Priya papdi beans and the long beans (of mixed variety), they flourished as did the others. When I mentioned the pods were turning cream-and-red, Mom told me to hurry and pick them for shellies.

Shellies. Who knew? I think we picked nearly two quarts of them today.

It may be a little late for them in stores or farm markets. It’s certainly late for them here.

shelly beans in the pod
shelly beans in the pod ~ greener pods yield plain beans, while the ripe cream-colored pod yields speckled beans

After learning about them, I knew what I had to do. I shelled those lovely beans. And then…

I thought of my great kitchen buddy, ISG — and how she always pairs brinjal with beans to such great effect. I know a good dish when I taste one; after years of tasting ISG’s recipes, I had no hesitation. Shamelessly taking my cue from her, (and mostly from her recipe), I dove under the bed to dig through my stash of spices. Armed with fresh coriander seeds (is that an oxymoron??), I headed for the kitchen.

Thus was born…

Spicy Brinjal with Shelly Beans

for the curry

a mess of brinjals (I had about 20 in all, small and medium)
one large red onion, diced, divided
4-5 medium fresh tomatoes, pureed (about 2 cups)
1 c shelly beans, shelled and boiled 30 min in salted water, drained
thick tamarind water from a large piece (about 1/2 cup)
jaggery to taste
salt to taste

for the paste

dry roast:
1/4 c coriander seeds
2 TB cumin seeds
a few methi seeds
a few curry leaves
3-4 red chiles, seeded (I used fresh from the garden chiles!)

Saute half the diced onion until lightly browned, then grind with the above to a paste.
Set aside.

for the seasoning

1-2 TB canola oil
curry leaves
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of hing
half the diced onion


To prepare:

In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. When the oil is ready, add urad dal, curry leaves, hing, and mustard seeds. When the seasonings are hot, add half the onion and saute for a few minutes while you prepare the brinjals.*

Add brinjals and saute over med heat until they begin to brown and wilt. Clear a space in the center and add the ground paste. Cook this over medium heat, stirring, until the paste is fragrant. Keep stirring to coat the brinjals.

After five minutes or so, add tamarind water and pureed tomatoes. Mix well. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook about ten minutes. Now taste and add jaggery depending on the sourness. Add a pinch of salt, cover, and simmer until brinjals are tender.

Uncover, stir in the cooked shelly beans and additional salt to taste.

Serve with hot rice to soak up the spicy gravy, and pass the ghee, please!

spicy brinjal and shelly beans curry
oh so spicy brinjal and shelly beans curry ~ thanks for the great idea, ISG!


*Slit long brinjals in four pieces, leaving tops intact. Make four cuts in smaller round brinjals. Cut any large brinjals into pieces to match the size of small brinjals. I even had some really tiny ones which I just slit in half as above. I did this while frying the seasonings, so I did not have to worry about discoloration.


There are now five cats in the house…

lemur and gibby
the golden boys ~ lemur and gibby

pinks and daisy

Little 22 yo Squeaker is out in her cozy bed by the furnace…

All the kitties are safe and warm. All is well, and winter is coming…

I love it here πŸ™‚

the kitties are in :)
the kitties are all snug inside


  1. indosungod said

    Snow already. I am complaining about the frost πŸ™‚

    Brinjals and Beans are match made in heaven for me at least. Looks so good. Your stash of veggies is even more delicious looking. Stuff those bell peppers Linda and broil. How about make some potato podimas (like you’d for aloo paratha and stuff them with cheese sprinkled on top? Or even better with minced chicken? Don’t tell me you pickled all of those banana peppers and jalapenos? If not try the Roasted/Cheese peppers. Yum Yum.

    I’m liking all these tasty ideas, ISG. I’m waiting to fry up some more pepper bhajis, too πŸ™‚

  2. Nupur said

    5 kitties- what an awesome place your home is!! Shelly beans look just gorgeous with those speckles.

    We should do another A to Z eh, that was fun.

    A-Z was awesome indeed. Thanks for stopping, Nupur! πŸ™‚

  3. Vani said

    And I was gonna complain about the 40s temp here! Loved your kitty art and how they were all “in” πŸ™‚ The masala in the curry sounds delicious. And your harvest – hmmm hmmm good!!

    40s works for me, Vani! πŸ˜‰ Those kitty signs are by a lady on Etsy. So clever and cute huh? Nice to see you! πŸ™‚

  4. Vegetables and legumes are a fantastic combination and esp in winter days they give such warmth. Felt nostalgic looking at the snow pics. Sadly it never falls at our place. Its been just raining – since past few days! 😦


    So nice to see you Siri! Raining here now, melting all that snow. I’m afraid the snow has only just begun. It looks to be a long season of comfort food ahead πŸ™‚

  5. Sra said

    They make a version of this in our canteen that’s just … I always serve myself some on those rare days that I do eat there and this is on the menu hoping against hope that it will turn out right but …

    but…? You mean the canteen can’t equal your home-cooking, sra?! πŸ˜‰

    • sra said

      I mean I haven’t really tried this at home, not to satisfaction – not the classic recipe – so much easier when someone else makes it πŸ™‚

      Sra — so sorry I was clearly having a brain freeze πŸ™‚ I get that ‘easier when someone else does it’ feeling! πŸ™‚

  6. Sean Duffy said

    I love your photos of the fresh garden bounty! gorgeous! I’m actually a big fan of garden photography and recipes. So…great blog!

    Here is a delicious, and simple, recipe I found in my quest for pics and recipes, and tried last summer:

    I’ll definitely be checking back here too. Keep posting!

    Hi Sean, thanks for stopping and for your kind words. I have fun with the garden and pics, no doubt!

    Nothing beats a fresh tomato sandwich, I agree. Thanks for the link.

    Best wishes!

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