Sunday, August 30, 2009

South Indian style green beans

This style involves popping black mustard seeds and generally layering a variety of flavors.

I like to do all the preparation before I get the skillet hot so that I can time things nicely and not have to be trying to prep things and add things all in a rush. The first stage is popping black mustard seeds and that requires a nice hot pan like you would heat to pop corn. Once the oil is just on the verge of smoking I pour in the mustard seeds and cover the pan so the seeds don't fly about. After popping has slowed down I lower the heat and put in a dried chili and some hing.

I soaked urud dal for awhile to soften it and put it in after the popping to toast it a bit. It absorbes flavors differently than the veggies and brings out a lot of flavors. Once the dal is golden I add the "soft" veggies to become tender. I like them to be just at the tender stage, with the onions turning translucent.

Once the veggies are starting to get tender I want to add in more "top" layers of flavors. Tonight's version has a fresh Thai green chili, garlic and ginger. The Thai chilis are firey - I added one for this whole pan full of veggies, and I'm a bit of a chili weenie, so you may want two or three.

Fresh curry leaves are a wonderful accent, and I put them in about the last five minutes. For this version I also squeezed in the juice of half a lime.

It's fragrant and yummy!


Anonymous said...

Covering the pan with the popping spices is only for those who don't want to get hot oil burns.

I have a beauty on my right forearm from a hot oily flying clove.

Albany Jane said...


I'm never agile enough to cover the pan. I end up using it like a shield and ducking around the pan.

LorreS said...

With pan lid in my left hand I toss in a pre-measured dish of the seeds with my right and put the lid down immediately. Trial and error and a few burns helped me develop this technique.