Sem Ki Sabji | Surti Papdi Recipe | Valor Papdi Shaak

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Here’s a Gujarati style Sem Ki Sabji that will surely reiterate your love for this special varieties of flat beans, locally known as valor papdi and surti papdi. This is a dry preparation that can be made as a side dish with Indian flatbreads like chapatis or phulkas and made into a wholesome and balanced meal. This Sem Sabji is a popular dish from the vibrant cuisine of Gujarat in the western part of the Indian subcontinent. Since all ingredients in this recipe are plant-based, it also vegan friendly, is easy to make, yet comforting and delicious.

aloo semi ki sabji garnished with coriander leaves and served in a bowl with text layover.

About Sem Ki Sabji

Before anything else, the name of this Gujarati style shaak or sabji literally means a dry veggie preparation made with potatoes (aloo), a type of flat beans (sem or valor papdi), spices and seasonings. Thus, when in the state of Gujarat, this dish is also referred to as Papdi nu Shaak.

Surti papdi and valor papdi are flat bean varieties that are a specialty of the Indian winter season. It is also known as field beans, broad beans in English and val papdi, sem ki phalli in other Indian languages.

In Maharashtra, Gujarat and South India there are many recipes that are made with this variety of flat beans.

Although in this post, I have shared a typical Gujarati way of making the Sem Sabji, but this recipe has different variations in North India as well, especially in Uttar Pradesh.

At home, I make this delish recipe with both valor papdi and surti papdi. In this particular post, I have used valor papdi.

So, besides the flat beans and potatoes, other ingredients that go in this Gujarati style papdi sabji recipe are carom seeds (ajwain), green chili, ginger, garlic and asafoetida (hing).

I also add spices like turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, sugar coupled with white sesame seeds, fresh grated coconut, coriander leaves and lemon juice.

Thus, you can feel a slight tang in the dish, which is due to the use of lemon juice in it. There’s also a next level texture that can be felt in this preparation that comes from the crunchy sesame and earthy coconut added in it.

About My Recipe

This Sem Ki Sabji is an easy and simple recipe, and you don’t have to worry reading the tad long ingredient list. Also, because most of the ingredients are the ones that are usually available at any Indian home kitchen across the country.

To make this Gujarati style Papdi nu Shaak with valor papdi, I use the same masala that is used in another classic Gujarati dish called Undhiyu.

I also add some potatoes or brinjals in it, though you might not find brinjal in this specific recipe on the blog as I didn’t have it then.

Either potatoes or brinjals alone can be added or both together can also be added. You can even skip these vegetables, if you want. Onion is not added in the recipe, but you can add, if you want.

Like I mentioned earlier, this shaak recipe has a sweet and sour taste. To make this shaak, you can even use surti papdi. This dish is best served with phulka, bajra roti or jowar roti. You can also serve it as a side dish with Gujarati dal and rice.

Flat beans are a favorite at my home and I make quite a few recipes with them, on a daily basis, as per the availability.

In addition to this Gujarati shaak recipe, other recipes made with flat beans include this simple Papdi Bhaji recipe and the South Indian style Avarakkai Poriyal.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Sem Ki Sabji

Preparation

1. Firstly, rinse 150 grams flat beans very well. Then, string each flat bean and pull the pods apart.

You have to open the pods to see if there are worms or mould in them. Discard the beans, if they have a mould or worms.

stringed valor papdi.

2. Chop or break each pod in 2.

chopped valor papdi pods.

3. This way string, open and break each flat bean. You will need 2 cups chopped valor papdi. Keep aside.

chopped valor papdi in a bowl.

4. In a mortar, take 3 to 4 medium garlic cloves, 1 inch ginger and 1 chopped green chili.

garlic cloves, ginger and chopped green chili added in a mortar for valor papdi nu shaak.

5. Crush to a paste with a pestle. Keep aside.

ingredients crushed for valor papdi nu shaak.

Sauté

6. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. You can use peanut oil or sunflower oil. Add ¼ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain) and let it splutter on a low heat.

carom seeds spluttering in hot oil in pan for valor papdi nu shaak.

7. Then, add the prepared ginger-garlic-green chili paste.

prepared ginger-garlic-green chili paste added in pan for valor papdi nu shaak.

8. Sauté on low heat for a few seconds or till raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.

sautéing paste for valor papdi nu shaak.

9. Now, add 2 medium peeled and chopped potatoes.

chopped potatoes added to pan for valor papdi nu shaak.

10. Add 1 pinch asafoetida (hing).

asafoetida added to potatoes for making papdi bhaji.

11. Mix and sauté potatoes for about two minutes on low to medium-low heat.

sautéing potatoes for making papdi bhaji.

Make Aloo Sem Ki Sabji

12. Add chopped flat beans.

chopped flat beans added to potatoes or making papdi bhaji.

13. Then, add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder, ½ teaspoon cumin powder and ½ teaspoon coriander powder.

spice powders added to flat beans or making papdi bhaji.

14. Mix well.

spice powders mixed well with potatoes and flat beans or making papdi bhaji.

15. Now, add ½ cup water and mix again.

water added to pan or making papdi bhaji.

16. Simmer on medium-low heat till the water comes to a boil.

simmering papdi bhaji.

17. Then, add 3 tablespoons fresh grated coconut.

fresh grated coconut added to papdi bhaji.

18. Next, add 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds.

white sesame seeds added to papdi bhaji.

19. Then, add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves.

chopped coriander leaves added to aloo sem ki sabji.

20. Season with 1 teaspoon salt or add as required. Also, add 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar or as per taste.

salt and sugar added to aloo sem ki sabji.

21. Mix very well.

seasonings mixed well in the aloo sem ki sabji.

22. Cover the pan and simmer the vegetables on low to medium-low heat.

simmering aloo sem ki sabji in covered pan.

23. In between, check the vegetables and stir.

cooking aloo sem ki sabji.

24. If the water dries up and potatoes are not cooked, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons more water or as required.

water added to the pan.

25. Cover the pan and simmer till the potatoes are tender and cooked. Once the potatoes are done, if there is any water left, cook without the lid till all the water evaporates.

cooking aloo sem ki sabji.

26. Once done, add add 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

adding lemon juice to sabji.

27. Stir and check taste. Add some more lemon juice, if required.

lemon juice mixed well in sabji.

28. Lastly, add 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and mix.

chopped coriander leaves added to cooked sabji.

29. Serve Sem ki Sabji with roti, phulka or bhakri.

aloo sem ki sabji garnished with coriander leaves and served in a bowl.

Expert Tips

  1. This recipe can be made with any variety of flat beans.
  2. Make sure to string the flat beans, pull the pods apart and check for the presence of any mould or worms in them. If present, discard.
  3. You can even add potatoes and brinjals in this recipe, or add both or make this recipe without any of these veggies.
  4. The choice of fat to cook this dish can be sunflower oil or peanut oil.
  5. You can make this dish without adding the coconut and lemon juice as well.
  6. The quantity of sugar can also be adjusted according to your palate preferences.

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surti papdi recipe

Sem Ki Sabji | Surti Papdi Recipe | Valor Papdi Shaak

This Sem ki Sabji is a winter special recipe of a sweet and tangy preparation made with a variety of flat beans called valor papdi locally. This is a dry spiced preparation that can be made as a side dish with Indian flatbreads like chapati or phulka and made into a wholesome and balanced meal.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Gujarati
Course Side Dish
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 green chilli – crushed
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves – medium, crushed or ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 inch ginger or ½ teaspoon chopped ginger, crushed
  • 2 potatoes – medium-sized or ½ cup chopped potatoes
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 150 grams flat beans (sem) or 2 cups chopped valor papdi or 2 cups surti papdi
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt or add as required
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar or add as required
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons coconut – fresh, grated
  • 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon lemon juice or add as per taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves – for garnish

Instructions
 

Preparation for surti papdi recipe

  • Firstly rinse the flat beans or sem (valor papdi or surti papdi) very well. Then string each flat bean and pull the pods apart.
    You have to open the pods to see if there are worms or mould in them. Discard the beans if they have a mould or worms in them.
  • Chop or break each pod in two.
  • This way string, open and break each flat beans. You will need 2 cups chopped valor papdi or surti papdi. Keep aside.
  • In a mortar pestle take the peeled garlic cloves, ginger and green chili (chopped).
  • Crush to a paste. Keep aside.

Making surti papdi

  • Heat oil in a pan. You can use peanut oil or sunflower oil. Add carom seeds (ajwain) and let them splutter.
  • Then add the ginger+garlic+green chili paste.
  • Sauté for a few seconds till raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.
  • Now add the chopped potatoes and asafoetida (hing).
  • Mix and sauté potatoes for about two minutes on low to medium-low heat.
  • Then add chopped sem or papdi beans.
  • Next add turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder and coriander powder.
  • Mix well.
  • Add ½ cup water and mix again.
  • Simmer on medium low heat till the water comes to a boil.
  • Then add fresh grated coconut, white sesame seeds and chopped coriander leaves.
  • Season with 1 teaspoon salt or add as required. Also add 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar or add as per taste.
  • Mix very well.
  • Cover the pan and simmer veggies on a low to medium-low heat.
  • In between check the veggies and stir them.
  • If water dries up and potatoes are not cooked, then add more 2 to 3 tablespoons water or as required.
  • Cover pan and simmer till the potatoes are tender and cooked.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked and tender, if there is any water left, then cook without lid till all the water evaporates.
    Once the sabji is done, add add 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  • Stir and check taste. Add some more lemon juice if required.
  • Lastly add 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and mix.
  • Serve Sem ki Sabji with roti, phulka or bhakri.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Sem Ki Sabji | Surti Papdi Recipe | Valor Papdi Shaak
Amount Per Serving
Calories 170 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 638mg28%
Potassium 541mg15%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 309IU6%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 19mg23%
Vitamin E 3mg20%
Vitamin K 7µg7%
Calcium 60mg6%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 30µg8%
Iron 4mg22%
Magnesium 39mg10%
Phosphorus 69mg7%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This Sem Ki Sabji recipe from the archives, originally published in January 2018 has been updated and republished on February 2023.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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2 Comments

    1. welcome asha. sesame seeds are not roasted. when cooking the veggies, the sesame seeds also get cooked.