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Stir-Fried Green Beans with Coconut


  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons yellow split peas (channa dal or supermarket variety)
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon hulled black gram beans (urad dal)
  • 3 whole, dried red chilies
  • 8 fresh or 12 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 3/4 pound green beans, both ends trimmed, beans cut on an angle into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon saambhar or rasam powder
  • 1 cup water


  • Combine the oil, yellow split peas, and mustard seeds, if using, in a large wok, kadai, or frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cover (the mustard seeds pop and splatter) and cook until you hear the mustard seeds crackle, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the urad dal, chilies, curry leaves, and cumin and cook uncovered, stirring, 1 more minute.  (Stand back; the curry leaves spit when they hit the oil.)
  • Add the asafetida and 1/4 cup of the coconut and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.
  • Add the beans and the salt and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. 
  • Add the remaining 1/4 cup coconut, the saambhar or rasam powder, if using, and the water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 10 minutes.  Then uncover and cook, stirring often, until all of the water has evaporated, about 5 more minutes.  Taste for salt and serve hot.

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Grateful to IIM Sirmaur for inviting me to give a TedX Talk about Astitva (identity) with the students at the college.

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I want to create restaurants that make dining meaningful


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