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Tamil Nadu-style masala bean poriyal

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

Most poriyals are lightly spiced and highlight the vegetable, check out this wonderful South Indian cabbage poriyal, with peas on this site. However, the version from Tamil Nadu flips that concept around. This poriyal bursts with flavors. The spice mix that heavily coats the beans is fiery, tart, and earthy, it is a spice paste I can use on almost anything. Although the original recipe is made with beans, you can substitute almost any vegetable here, cabbage, eggplants, yams, plantains or anything else. This is a versatile spice mix and will compliment any thing it is served with. I served this dish as a side with both chapattis and rice. This is another wonderful cookbook from Chandra Padmanabhan. The recipes focused on the vegetable and curry dishes that are famous in the Southern Indian. Lots of flavors, and lots of traditions with this cookbook make essential on most bookshelves. I highly recommend this cookbook, and all her other cookbooks, for those who would like an in-depth recipe catalog of vegetarian and vegan dishes from South India.

For more wonderful recipes from this cookbook, click here.


For the spice paste:

3 tablespoons chana dal

1 tablespoon urad dal

1 tablespoon coriander powder

4 dried red chilies

1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (Hing) powder

4 tablespoons grated coconut, frozen ok

1 tablespoon tamarind paste

Salt to taste

For the beans:

1 lb green beans, French beans, cut into 1-inch lengths

2 tablespoons cilantro, minced, to garnish

For tempering:

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon chana dal

1 teaspoon urad dal

1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing) powder

1 dried red chili

10-12 curry leaves

To make the spice paste:

Dry roast the chana dal, urad dal, and chilies on a pan on medium heat till lightly toasted. Do not burn. Cool and grind to a fine powder in a coffee mill. Set aside.

Add all the rest of the ingredients of the spice paste, including the ground powder from above to a small blender and purée to a smooth paste. Try and add as little water as possible, just enough to allow the purée to slide down the sides of the blender. Set aside.

To make the beans:

Blanch the beans in boiling water for 1 1/2 minutes till just cooked, or in the microwave with a splash of water for 2 minutes. You want the beans crunchy and not mushy. Set aside.

In a wok or pot add the oil and on medium heat add the tempering ingredients in the order given. The mustard seeds will begin to pop in about 30 seconds. Add the spice paste and cook for about 10-15 minutes till the paste has a beautiful aroma and the oil begins to separate from the paste.

Add the beans and mix in, adding a touch of water if the paste is too dry. Cook for an additional 5 minutes till the beans are well coated in the spices. This should resemble a very thick, almost dry curry.

Serve as a side hot topped with the minced cilantro and chapattis or rice.

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