Kalli Curry – Cactus And Pinto Bean Gravy

KALLI CURRY / CACTUS AND PINTO BEAN CURRY


I wondered why a bag of Chappati Kallis / Cactus was sitting  in my daughter-in-law’s refrigerator along with the other fresh and colourful vegetables! I almost had a panic attack when she said  that she intended cooking the Cactus  for dinner! I have never seen or heard anyone cook or eat Chappati Kalli in all my sixty five years of existence! I have seen them flourish in waste lands. I have also seen them planted  in rows as borders to demarcate agricultural properties in rural areas. But eating the ‘kalli’ ? It seemed a bit far fetched! I browsed through the internet to make sure of the edibility of  the ‘thorn’ considered to be a vegetable before I made an attempt to eat it. I came to know that the  Nopales or the Prickly Pear Cactus or the  Chappati Kalli also known as Opuntia   is widely  cultivated in Mexico  and is extensively used in Mexican cuisine.

After all the panic and research work, I finally did relish the ‘dethorned’ and scraped Cactus which my daughter – in – law stir fried with other vegetables. 
The next time my son guided me in the preparation of a Mexican dish using Cactus and Pinto Beans. It was fun learning to ‘tame’ the monster with thorns and prepare it for cooking!
INGREDIENTS
Cactus pads – 2


Pinto beans – 2 cups


Onion  – 1 (Sliced)
Elephant Garlic  – 1(Sliced)
Jalapeno peppers – a few
Vegan Bouillon cube -1

Refried beans – 1 can


TO PREPARE THE KALLI/ NOPALES FOR COOKING
1. Carefully hold the nodule at the base of the cactus pad in one hand and scrape out the thorns using a sharp knife.