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Stir Fried Green Beans with chili, mustard and coconut

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
25 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 4


  • A Mortar and Pestle
  • A deep bottomed frying pan [Karahi / Kadai] with a lid
  • A food processor / blender / Coconut scraper


  • 2.5 tsp Mustard seeds [1.5 tsp to be ground, and 1 tsp for the tempering]
  • 2 Green Chilies
  • 2 tbs Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Chana Dal [split, dried chickpeas]
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal [split , dried black gram (without husk)]
  • 1/4th tsp Hing [asafoetida]
  • 1/4th Kilogram Green Beans [also called French beans]
  • Salt [to taste]
  • 6 - 8 Curry Leaves
  • 2 tsp Jaggery [unrefined Cane sugar]
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 cup Coriander Leaves [cilantro]
  • 1/3rd cup Fresh Grated Coconut
  • 3 - 4 tbs Water


  • Wash and slice the green beans into thin rounds2
  • Crush 1.5 tsp of mustard seeds and the green chilies in a mortar and pestle to a very coarse paste. Yes, you could use a small blender / grinder to do this. But since the quantity is really small, a mortar and pestle will work best3.
  • Heat a couple of tbs of coconut oil4 in a deep bottomed frying pan; add a tsp of mustard seeds and wait for them to pop / sputter.
  • Next, add the chana dal, urad dal and asafoetida to the pan; make sure the heat is turned down really low at this point! Stir the dal around until it takes on a nutty aroma and nice golden colour5.
  • Add the sliced green beans to the pan and stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes. Now add the chili - mustard paste, cover6 and simmer for about 5 - 7 mins. You could also add a tbs of water at this point to prevent any burning.
  • After 5 - 7 mins have passed, check if the beans are tender enough to eat; if not cook a little longer. Also add salt to taste at this point. If you feel that the beans need to be cooked longer, add a few tbs of water and let them continue to cook on a low heat; this will prevent burning.
  • Once the beans are cooked well enough (and still have a bit of their crunch), make a well in the middle of the vegetables and add 2 tsp of crushed jaggery7. Allow the jaggery to melt and then stir so that it coats the beans well. Turn the heat off.
  • Once off the heat, add the juice of half a lime, half a cup of fresh, chopped coriander leaves and a third of a cup of freshly grated coconut to the pan. The coriander is essential and not a mere garnish to this dish; its freshness softens the strong flavors of mustard and jaggery. Stir well, and taste test once more to see if the 4 main flavor elements1 and salt are well balanced. Adjust if necessary and you are ready to serve!
Keyword chili-mustard paste, French Beans, Green Beans, Green Beans Stir Fry, Green Veggies, Healthy, Mustard paste, Side dish, Stir Fry, Sweet-Sour-Spicy, Veggies