Posts Tagged ‘Green Beans’

Vegetable Biryani- Chettinad Style


2011
03.31

IMG_9199

Known to be the spiciest and the most aromatic cuisine of India, the Chettinad cuisine is one of my favorites. I’ve spent many glorious evenings in Chennai wiping away plates of Biryani and sucking on spicy succulent crab meat while my totally vegetarian best friend V, looked on with great amusing interest. I’m sure her smirk would disappear in a tick had she only known the great void (tragedy) her vegetarian life had conferred on her.

Anyway, coming back to serious cooking,  here’s a vegetarian version of the popular Chettinad biryani which is so flavorful that I’m sure even a die hard meat eater would easily go for a second helping :) .

Ingredients
1 lb veggies of your choice. (I used, cauliflower and broccoli florets, diced bell peppers and carrots, peas and  potatoes cut into long strip like fries)
3 cups basmati rice
1 large  or 2 medium sized red onions finely sliced
3 large tomatoes, diced in chunks 
2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
11/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp chopped mint 
5 cloves
4, 1/4 inch pieces of cinnamon
2 bruised whole cardamom
1/2 tsp red chili powder, alter this based on tolerable spice level
2 tsp paprika, for color
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder  
refined vegetable oil
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup curd
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste

Spices for Grinding

3 cloves
2,1/4 inch pieces of cinnamon
seeds from 1 cardamom
1 tsp of fennel seeds

Directions

  • Soak washed basmati rice with 4 cups of water and set aside for an hour. 
  • Dry roast the spices mentioned for grinding and grind to a semi coarse powder
  • Heat refined oil in a wide bottomed pan that can be fitted with a tight lid and doesn’t let steam escape and fry the veggies one at a time until almost cooked and set aside.
  • In the same pan add ghee and  add more oil if necessary,
  • When hot, add the whole cloves, cinnamon and cardamom and let them puff up.
  • Add the chopped onions and sauté until deep brown (the onions should look fried).
  • When the oil comes clear, move the onions to the sides of the pan and add turmeric and the ground spices to the oil accumulated at the center of the pan and sauté for 30 secs.
  • Add remaining ginger-garlic and sauté for a minute.
  • Add in the diced tomatoes, chili powders and sauté until oil separates.
  • Reduce the flame to low and add the coconut milk, curd, lemon, salt, cilantro and mint and let it simmer.
  • Add 1 tbsp of ghee, salt and cook the rice until the water boils and the rice is only  3/4 done.
  • Drop in the fried veggies into the masala mixture mix well and flatten it at he bottom of the pan
  • Pour in the boiling rice into the pan making the rice form a layer on top of the masala and veggie mixture and has no direct contact to the bottom of the pan.
  • Close the pan tight shut and let it sit on the very low flame for 15 – 20 min or until the rice at the top is done.
  • Remove from the stove and mix in the rice and masala
  • Serve with raitha and mango pickles.
  • Navratan Korma


    2011
    03.25

    Navratan Korma, meaning a mixture of nine gems is a delicious vegetarian dish from the Mughlai cuisine. The nine gems indicate the nine veggies, fruits and nuts that go into the dish. Influenced by the imperial kitchens of the Mughal empire this is as grand and as rich as any vegetarian dish can get.

    IMG_9085

    Ingredients

    10 oz of paneer/cottage cheese
    1/2 cup cashew nuts 
    1 large onion chopped
    1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
    1/2 tsp cumin powder
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    1/2 tsp white pepper powder
    1 tsp punjabi garam masala
    1 1″ piece of cinnamon
    2 bay leaves
    1 pod of bruised cardamom
    4 cloves
    3-4 cups mixed veggies(I used cubed potatoes, chopped French beans, diced carrots,green peas,cauliflower florets, diced bell pepper)
    1/4 cup pineapple chunks
    10-12 raisins
    2-3 tbsp heavy cream
    2-3 tbsp refined oil
    Salt to taste

    Directions

  • Cut the paneer into slabs (not cubes) and toast them on both sides in a non stick pan in 1 tbsp of oil. Make sure you don’t over do it. Both the sides should have just a slight hint of brown to bring out the nutty flavor of the paneer.
  • When all the slabs of paneer are toasted cut them up into small cubes, sprinkle a little salt and set aside.
  • Grind 1/4th cup of the cashews along with the onions.
  • Parboil with salt all the veggies individually (cooking time for each varies) and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add turmeric and cumin powder and sautéfor 30 secs.
  • Add the remaining cashew nuts and the whole spices.
  • When the spices puff up add the cashew onion paste and the ginger garlic paste and sauté until oil separates.
  • Add the garam masala and pepper powder.
  • .Add one cup of water and bring to boil.
  • Add the the veggies, paneer, raisins and pine apple and let it simmer until the veggies are cooked.
  • Garnish with heavy cream
  • Server hot with Indian breads
  • Beans Thoran – Sautéed Beans with Coconut


    2010
    03.27

    IMG_5855

    The last bag of frozen beans for dinner tonight and I can wipe the freezer clean before I take off to India for a long work cum pleasure trip.

    Thorans are vegetables cooked with spices and ground coconut very characteristic of the Kerala Cuisine. All tender firm vegetables are cooked mostly as either a Mezhukuverati or as a Thoran, in Kerala. Both, involve sautéed vegetable. But the latter has coconut and the former doesn’t.

     Ingredients

    1 lb French cut frozen green beans, thawed or fresh beans, stringed and chopped fine
    1 big shallot or 2-3 small ones
    1-2 green chilies
    2 cloves of garlic
    1 cup fresh grated coconut / frozen coconut thawed
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
    1 tsp whole black mustard seeds
    2 tsp raw white rice
    2- 3 sprigs of curry leaves
    1 whole red chili
    salt to taste
    2-3 tbsp water

    IMG_5846

    Directions

  • Coarsely grind the shallots, green chilies, garlic, coconut, cumin, salt and turmeric in a food processor and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a  skillet. Add mustard, rice, red chili and curry leaves, sauté for a few seconds until the mustard pops and the rice swells up and turns golden.
  • Add the green beans, salt to taste and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Gather the beans together to make a mound .
  • Make a well at the center of the mound.
  • Pour the ground mixture into the well and cover the top with some of the beans.
  • Add 2 tbsp of water and close the skillet  tight with a fitting lid.
  • Reduce the heat to low, and cook approximately 10 -12 minutes until the beans are cooked and tender (add more water if needed, but be careful not to over cook it).
  • Mix all the ingredients together well, and serve hot with white rice.
  • Beans Thoran – Sautéed Beans with Coconut


    2010
    03.27

    IMG_5855

    The last bag of frozen beans for dinner tonight and I can wipe the freezer clean before I take off to India for a long work cum pleasure trip.

    Thorans are vegetables cooked with spices and ground coconut very characteristic of the Kerala Cuisine. All tender firm vegetables are cooked mostly as either a Mezhukuverati or as a Thoran, in Kerala. Both, involve sautéed vegetable. But the latter has coconut and the former doesn’t.

     Ingredients

    1 lb French cut frozen green beans, thawed or fresh beans, stringed and chopped fine
    1 big shallot or 2-3 small ones
    1-2 green chilies
    2 cloves of garlic
    1 cup fresh grated coconut / frozen coconut thawed
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
    1 tsp whole black mustard seeds
    2 tsp raw white rice
    2- 3 sprigs of curry leaves
    1 whole red chili
    salt to taste
    2-3 tbsp water

    IMG_5846

    Directions

  • Coarsely grind the shallots, green chilies, garlic, coconut, cumin, salt and turmeric in a food processor and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a  skillet. Add mustard, rice, red chili and curry leaves, sauté for a few seconds until the mustard pops and the rice swells up and turns golden.
  • Add the green beans, salt to taste and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Gather the beans together to make a mound .
  • Make a well at the center of the mound.
  • Pour the ground mixture into the well and cover the top with some of the beans.
  • Add 2 tbsp of water and close the skillet  tight with a fitting lid.
  • Reduce the heat to low, and cook approximately 10 -12 minutes until the beans are cooked and tender (add more water if needed, but be careful not to over cook it).
  • Mix all the ingredients together well, and serve hot with white rice.
  • Moong Dal with Beans, Stir-Fry


    2010
    03.21

    IMG_5755

    Another one of those vegetables that I like frozen over fresh, is French cut green beans.  I like beans cooked best, the South Indian way and the French cut beans fits perfectly in all of these recipes.

    Frozen spinach, beans, ivy gourd, peas and carrots are always stocked in my freezer. These are my fall back vegetable when I run out of fresh ones in the refrigerator side. So, why am I clearing up my freezer, you ask? Becaaauuuse., hold on to your horses,.ahem ..ahem,  I will be going to India in a weeks time. Woo Hoo!! Ok, that is all the excitement I’m allowed to show for right now. This is how it works in my cards of superstitions – Never get excited before you do anything exciting, and always expect the worst, because you NEVER get what you expected! Well, if you don’t believe me, try it just once. I can assure you, if it wont be for my recipes you are coming back, it will certainly be for ‘life’s valuable lessons’, I so willingly impart and never seem to be in short of ;)!!

    So, beating the excitement and coming back to the beans, this is a nice way to add proteins to your vegetable sides. You just need to soak the dal for an hour or two before hand, to allow them to cook easily along side the veggies. You can use any firm vegetable in this recipe like cabbage, spinach, beetroot etc. They all taste great.

    IMG_5772

    Ingredients

    1 lb Beans, chopped fine
    1/2 cup split moong dal/mung bean
    2 -3 Green chilies, chopped
    1 tsp black mustard seeds
    1 tsp channa dal/ bengal gram
    a pinch of asafoetida 
    2 sprigs of curry leaves 
    11/2 tbsp refined vegetable oil
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Soak moong dal in water for an hour.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add mustard seeds, channa dal, asafoetida, and curry leaves
  • When the mustard pops, and dal turns brown, add green chilies and sauté for 15 – 20 seconds.
  • Add the beans  and the dal, minus the water (since it contains a lot of water soluble  vitamins, don’t throw away the water, use it for cooking something else where ever water is required )
  • Sauté till the beans cook. Make sure you don’t over cook them. They will be a tender vibrant green color when cooked just right.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Serve with white rice and sambar.