Tuesday, March 18, 2008

South Indian Green Beans

I really did not like green beans when I was younger. My mom made them two ways: French cut ones with garam masala and chopped ones with roasted lentils and coconut. My brother loved the former and I recall seeing them on the dinner table very often, but I didn’t like them – they were too spicy for me. She made the latter version less frequently, and I don’t recall really liking them, either. But, like most people, my taste buds grew up along with the rest of me, and now I love them. (Although, oddly enough, I used to really like broccoli but now I won’t eat it, ha!).

My mom has been teaching me how to make more South Indian dishes recently. I feel like an idiot for not having learned to do so earlier because not only is it really delicious, but it’s incredibly easy and quite healthy. My mom gave me the instructions for this one a few weeks ago and I think it is now one of my favorite things to eat.

South Indian Green Beans
(serves 2 as a side dish)

½ pound green beans, trimmed and cut into ¼” – ½” pieces (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 ½ teaspoons urad dal*
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds*
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

* Urad dal and black mustard seeds are core ingredients in South Indian cooking. Urad dal is roasted to give flavor to curried vegetables and other dishes, and it is soaked and ground to make vada, dosa, and idli. Black mustard seeds are quickly fried in a small quantity of oil and used to flavor many dishes and condiments You can find both at any Indian grocery store as well as at online Indian grocery retailers (linked in the ingredients section).


Heat the canola oil in a medium-sized skillet set over medium heat. Add the urad dal, mustard seeds, and red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the urad dal is light golden brown, about 4 minutes.

Add the beans and salt and stir well. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat until the beans are tender-crisp, about 10-12 minutes.

Add the coconut, stir well, and cook for another 5 minutes, uncovered.


Krysta said...

That sounds really good. Something new to try.

malini said...

job well done

Anonymous said...

Can I suggest that your font color with dark background makes it difficult to read.
Apart from that your posts are really good. Eggplant in micro is my fav.Thanks Roopa.

Ananya said...

I really liked this recipe.
I am a lime/lemon demon ( I love it!), so I tried your recipe and added a dash of lime on top just before serving. tastes completely fabulous and is perfect for a warm day.

johanna said...

lovely recipe. i can't eat broccoli anymore either! and i used to really like it. broc and cauli are the only veg i don't like now. interesting, no?

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