Adzuki Beans with Green Onion ~ Aandhan na Chora

August 13, 2015
Adzuki Beans with Green Onion ~ Chora

Gujarat, the state that my family is from in India, is known for its prolific use of legumes. We eat a wide variety of legumes in a multitude of different ways. They are included in simple rice dishes to complex dals and rich meaty stews. They are a staple part of our daily diets. There are some varieties of legumes that I’ve only seen in Gujarat and that are rarely used in other parts of the world. I used to think that lal chora was one of these. 

Onions, green and yellow


For years, I could not find the English equivalent of this mysterious lentil. I tried to explain to my friends who ate this delicious bean dish what the lentil was, but could come up with no equivalent. Our local Indian grocer was of little help as he too is Gujarati! I resolved that this lentil was wholly our own, not known to the rest of the world. But then, one day, I was wondering around an Asian market and came across a bag of beans that looked remarkably like my favorite chora labelled adzuki beans. Some internet research later confirmed that chora and adzuki beans were in fact one and the same. While I was a wee bit disappointed that these delicious beans were not unique to my part of the world, I was thrilled to know that these beans were popular the world over, and were even eaten as a dessert! 

Chopped onions, green and yellow

This preparation of adzuki beans is one of my all time favorite dishes from my childhood. It was on frequent rotation due to my frequent demands for it! The adzuki beans are cooked in a pressure cooker with water and salt. While the adzuki beans are cooking, a savory blend of onions and spices is made. Then at the end, you simply combine the two together for a delicious and filling meal! It is very simple to make, is very delicious, and really showcases my family’s garam masala. Be sure to set aside a small bowl of the beans once they are done cooking and drizzle on a bit of neutral oil, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. It’s a great snack before the full meal is served!

Adzuki Beans with Green Onion ~ Chora

My favorite way to eat this bean dish, is to garnish it with cilantro and quick pickled onions. I’ll share the recipe for these delicious onions in my next post. The contrast of the rich, savory, almost melted onions in the base of the dish with the acidic tang from the pickled onions is absolutely wonderful. Also, like many dishes that feature my family’s garam masala, this dish goes exceptionally well with a squeeze of lime juice on top. Or, if you’re really into sharp acid like me, sneak several spoonfuls of the pickle brine and pour it in! It’s delicious!

Adzuki Beans with Green Onion ~ Chora


Adzuki Beans with Green Onion ~ Aadhan na Chora

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: serves 4Total:

A delicious, savory adzuki bean stew with homemade garam masala topped with pickled onions and cilantro.

You'll Need...

  • For the adzuki beans:
  • 200 g (1 cup) adzuki beans (lal chora)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • Water, as needed

  • For the onion blend:
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 1 bunch green onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp finely minced jalapeños
  • 1 tsp finely minced ginger
  • 1 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro, to garnish
  • Pickled onions, to garnish


  1. For the adzuki beans:
  2. Soak the beans in warm water for a few hours, if you have the time. If you are unable to soak the beans, just add a few minutes onto the time for the pressure cooker. Place in a pressure cooker with about 1 inch of water over the surface of the beans. Cook at full pressure for 15-20 minutes. Depressurize the cooker according to the instructions of your pressure cooker. If it is approved by your manufacturer, run the edge of the cooker under tepid water to depressurize.
  3. (Take out a small scoop of the beans to eat with oil, salt, and pepper. It's sooo good!)
  4. For the onion base:
  5. Place the oil in the base of a large saucepan over medium high heat. When the oil warms, but is not yet hot, add the asafetida and allow it to cook until aromatic and sizzling. Add the yellow onions and salt, and stir. Cover and cook, stirring intermittently until the onions are translucent and just turning slightly golden. At this point, add the turmeric, jalapeños, ginger, and garlic and stir to combine well. Cook for a few more minutes. Add the green onions and a 1/4 cup of water and allow the green onions to wilt.
  6. Add the cooked adzuki beans to this mixture and stir well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the garam masala, stir well, cover the pot, and turn off the heat. Allow to rest for 15-30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld before serving.
  7. Garnish with plenty of cilantro, lime juice, and pickled onions and enjoy!

Additional Notes

Eat with flat bread such as naan or roti

Excellent with rice or quinoa


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  • Reply Pamela August 13, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    I live in Japan and I am studying Indian cooking. I so love Indian cooking. I know that there are many different types and that is wonderful too!! So much variety.

    You will be surprized to know that Adzuki beans are used 100% in sweet dishes here in Japan!! We cook 1 cup of beans in 2-3 cups of water without soaking for about 45-60 minutes. Then add about 1/2 cup of sugar and cook a bit more. Make sure the beans are soft. There should still be some water in the pan, like a soup. Then turn off the flame. Next, in a bowl, put 1/4 cup of rice flour and a tiny amount of water. Make very small marble sized ball shaped “rice balls”. Cook these in a separate pan of boiling water till they float, maybe 2-3 minutes. Put 3-4 tiny rice balls in a bowl and cover with a ladle full of sweet Adzuki soup and enjoy!! This is called “shiruko” !

    I want to try your Adzuki bean recipe too. I am always amazed at the great number of wonderful bean recipes in India!! Such a rich variety is amazing!

    • Reply Tanvi | The Hathi Cooks August 14, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Hi Pamela! I’m glad that you enjoy Indian cooking so much! It’s fun and much easier than most people realize.

      Thank you for sharing the information about adzuki beans and how they are used in Japan. That recipe sounds so delicious and would be a wonderful way to expand my adzuki bean repertoire. Beans are rarely thought of as a sweet dish in the US and I love how other cultures can use a variety of pulses in preparations ranging from sweet to savory! Thanks for reading and thank you for the recipe!

      • Reply Pamela August 14, 2015 at 2:49 pm

        Japanese people make confections out of every kind of bean. And have for hundreds of years. You can go to this link below to see a photo of all kinds of beans cooked in sugar and then dried a bit. They are enjoyed with green tea. They are considered a special treat. No oil or fat is used, so they are healthy. The name of this sweet bean confection is Amanatto. Here in Japan Adzuki beans have been used for decades as a base for a very healthy ice cream!! Beans are just not for savory dishes.甘納豆

  • Reply Suresh Hathiwala August 14, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Excellent presentation of our family staple!

    We typically buy “Red (lal) Chori” from Indian grocers. These are red and not brown like adzuki beans, and smaller. Red Chori beans need to be soaked longer for good evenly cooked dish. Red choris also hold up well to bit of over-cooking; adzuki beans may disintegrate into a pulp if one is not mindful of time in the pressure cooker. Finally, red choris have a firmer texture; in order to have a thicker base, we need to crush a small amount against the side of the saucepan. The rest of the recipe remains the same.

    You have always enjoyed this dish, and the simple appetizer of boiled adzuki or red chori with little oil, salt and pepper.

    I am glad you have finally embarked on a journey to catalog and post all the dishes unique to “Surati Khatris”.

    All the best.

  • Reply Kathy Zibilich January 17, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    These were so delicious and different from typical bean recipes. It took 30 minutes high pressure to cook the beans without soaking in my pressure cooker, but my beans were several years old. I have only had these beans sweet in sesame balls and shaved ice/jellies before, so it was fun to try them savory. Very nice presentation of the recipe, I will check out your other recipes, thanks!

    • Reply Tanvi | The Hathi Cooks January 17, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      Hi Kathy! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! It’s one of our favorites. If you took a picture of it, and are in Facebook or Instagram, I’d love to see it! I hope you enjoy the other recipes too. So happy to hear from you!

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