Soak the beans overnight and cook them until tender but not mushy. Alternatively, use two cups of canned beans, rinsed thoroughly.
Heat a saucepan. Add the red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns and cloves. Dry-roast the ingredients for five minutes over medium-low heat until fragrant and a couple of shades darker.
Remove the ingredients to a blender. In the same pan, dry-roast the garlic until golden-brown spots appear. Add to the blender.
Then roast the grated coconut over low heat, stirring constantly, until lightly golden. Add to the blender along with 1 cup water. If you are using coconut milk, just skip the roasting step and add the coconut milk directly to the blender.
Blend the masala until you get a smooth paste.
Add oil to the same saucepan.
Add the chopped onions and saute, stirring frequently, until they start to turn golden-brown.
Add the sausages, if using, and saute until they start to get a crust.
Add the tamarind paste and the ground masala paste. Stir well to mix and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about five minutes.
Add the beans along with a cup of water or cooking liquid. If your curry is already watery, add less liquid. Add salt to taste.
Let the curry come to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes so that all the flavours mix together.
Bawarchi of the Week
Sapana Behl likes books and soft music, but it's cooking that is her passion. Her blog, Cooking with Sapana, features the best of vegetarian recipes.