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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Snake Beans and Zucchini

easy recipe poduthuval indian cuisine snake beans zucchini vegetarian
I like long chinese green beans also referred to as snake beans sometimes. They have a slightly different flavor than the regular green beans and are usually about a foot long.

This poduthuval is a South Indian side dish, usually served with (rice and sambar) or (rice and rasam).

easy recipe poduthuval indian cuisine snake beans zucchini vegetarian
We had a huge zucchini growing in our garden (photo) and this recipe was a good way to use that zucchini. It is quick to cook, but takes a bit of an effort to chop the veggies.

Also, Chana Dal(Cicer arietinum) is pretty healthy, and is often confused with yellow split peas, but is supposed to be a relative of chickpeas; it doesn't cook up to a mush like other dals or lentils, and holds it shape firm and cooks up pretty quickly.


Ingredients
1-2 standard zucchini (or half a large zucchini as in picture above)
15-18 snake beans (long green beans)
7-8 tablespoon chana dal (can use up to 1 cup, if you like this dal)
4-5 Tbsp grated coconut (dry works fine, or can use fresh)
1-2 green chilies
5-6 curry leaves (murraya koenigii) for garnish
1 tsp mustard seeds, a pinch of cumin seeds for tempering
1 Tbsp oil for tempering
water, as needed for steaming
salt to taste

Preparation
  1. Soak the chana dal in water for 5-10 mins
  2. While chana dal is soaking, peel, remove inner pulp and seeds, and dice the zuccini
  3. Cut the long green beans into 1" pieces
  4. blend the green chilies and coconut into a coarse dry powdery paste and set aside
  5. heat oil in a pan, add the mustard and cumin seeds for tempering; mustard seeds will spatter - use a screen lid for the pan to prevent a mess
  6. when the spluttering dies down, add the chana dal and some water, cover the pan and let the chana dal cook till it gets a little soft; use approximately about 1 cup water for 1 cup chana dal
  7. add the chopped green beans; cover the pan and let the green beans cook in medium-low heat till they are almost done
  8. then add the zuccini, salt, a tablespoon or so of water if needed - look for a nice steamed texture where veggies retain their shape but are still cooked enough but not mushy
  9. if water turns out to be too much, just drain it out with a spoon as needed
  10. when veggies look about done, add the coconut+green chilies blend, stir it in, turn off heat and garnish with curry leaves
  11. serve warm with rice and sambar or rasam

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