Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Green Bean Poriyal.... South Indian Style....

Green Beans. My brother hated them. My mother often found them stuffed into the pocket of his pants (yikes) when she was doing the laundry. How he was able to sneak them into pockets I will never know.  Green Beans, they were the green vegetable of choice in the 70's and 80's. There were ever popular in the "Green Bean Casserole" of my mother's era. Remember that one, made with a can of cream of mushroom soup and fried onions on top?

Today, I find it rare to eat good green beans when eating out. Sometimes, I will come across nicely sauteed fresh beans with a garlic butter sauce.   However, the desire to produce tasty dishes with the humble green bean is somewhat lacking in our culture. Maybe we are all worn out from eating too much Green Bean Casserole at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For over 8 years I have been cooking Poriyals.. (dry vegetable curries) out of a fantastic South Indian Cookbook I found called, Dakshin. This cookbook is the bomb, the real deal. You will be dry roasting spices and making freshly ground spice mixtures and dishes that will rival anything you have tasted. (Unless of course you have been fortunate to head over to India or know someone who cooks South Indian.)

This is just a quick and simple version of one of the recipes from Dakshin, nevertheless, it is fantastic and delicious. A braising of the green beans in minimal water tempered in coconut oil, coconut, mustard seeds, and cumin. Your kids will eat this. Guaranteed... well maybe, you might still find them when doing the laundry.
mustard seeds, cumin, and coconut
Green Bean Poriyal.... short version

1 lb. green beans, clean and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
coconut oil for tempering or ghee or a mixture of both
1 TBS mustard seeds
1 TBS cumin seeds
1/4 cup dessicated coconut... not sweetened
1/2 cup water
5-6 Curry Leaves

1. Clean beans and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
2. Heat 2 TBS coconut oil or ghee in heavy bottomed dish for tempering. I use my Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Braiser. I love the enameled cast iron. Safest cookware for your health and really does a bang up job in the kitchen.
3. Add mustard seeds, when they start to turn a bit gray and begin to pop, throw in the curry leaves and the cumin. Let sizzle for just a bit and then toss in the beans and coconut. Salt, stir, add water and cover. Let braise for 5 minutes, stir and let braise again. Keep up this pattern until the beans are your desired firmness. I like to keep some crunch, beans never taste good when over cooked. Who like mushy beans?

Get creative while you cook, turn up the music, and pour some love into your meal!
♥♥♥ miss megan


  1. Fabulous! I am always looking for different ways to cook veggies. Thank you!

  2. Sounds like a really tasty dish! I'll have to give it a try.

  3. I like them beans, baby!

  4. Love this dish. I have the same cookbook. It's wonderful.

  5. Glad y'all liked the beans! Kathy - That cookbook changed my life....


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