During the winter season, we get many seasonal vegetables, peas, fresh lentils, that we enjoy in abundance. I remember last year thinking about the loads of cauliflowers that come to the market. This year a small cauliflower weighing maybe about 150 gms or so costs about 18 Rs, which is very expensive. Still, that's not going to stop us from enjoying the vegetables.
Among these, fresh lentils make a big impact. We get fresh toor dal, Hyacinth Beans. Hyacinth Beans/Anapakaya which we remove the outer skin and call it Pithikina Pappu. We make pithikina Pappu kurma with it that makes an excellent side dish for Dosas.
The term "bean" originally referred to the seed of the broad bean, but was later expanded to include members of the genus Phaseolus, such as the common bean and the runner bean, and the related genus Vigna. The term is now applied generally to many other related plants such as soybeans, peas, lentils, chickpeas (garbanzos), vetches, and lupins.- Wiki
Last year we got so much of these Hyacinth Beans, that we froze for this year. We still have a batch of it left and we also got the fresh ones to the market.
Freezing the beans makes sure you have the beans for using the nonseasonal times too. It is normally done by Blanching. Blanching is a cooking technique in which food is briefly immersed in boiling water or fat. Vegetables such as green beans are often blanched in order to enhance their natural green color. Blanched vegetables are typically plunged into an ice water bath afterward to halt the cooking process.
A couple of books that I read about freezing advises about this blanching method for freezing. If you want to see how the plant and seeds look read this post from our farms.
Fresh toor dal pods
After removing it from the outer layer.
Ice water ready to be used.
Boiling water ready to be immersed.
Wash and take the beans in a muslin cloth
Tie it properly with a rope.
When the water reaches boiling point, when it starts rolling stage, immerse the pack into the hot water.
Count for 2 minutes, and remove.
Plunge it immediately into the cold water.
Remove from the cloth
Take the beans in a colander and run it through running water.
Let it stand for 10 - 15 mins.
Dry the beans in a cloth under the fan. Before packing the beans, make sure the beans are dry.
Store the beans in a zip lock cover and freeze.
My method is inspired by Chitvish of Induslady, Other interesting reads on storing and freezing, Article on blanching Vegetables with details on timing.