Stir Fried Green Beans with Coconut


Suvir Saran 

Martha Stewart Show

 serves 4

I love this. High compliment at a pot luck from a guy who said it was just like his family in India makes. It works well with Haricot Verts.


  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons yellow split peas
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon hulled black gram beans (urad dal)
  • 3 whole dried red chiles
  • 8 fresh or 12 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 pound green beans, both ends trimmed and cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon saambhar powder or rasam powder (optional)


In a large wok or frying pan, combine oil, yellow split peas, and mustard seeds, if using over medium high heat. Cover, if using mustard seeds, as they will pop, until you hear them crackle. Cook, stirring, until split peas are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Add gram beans and chiles. Carefully add curry leaves, if using, as they will splatter. Add cumin and cook, uncovered, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add asafetida, if using, and 1/4 cup coconut. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add green beans and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add remaining 1/4 cup coconut, the saambhar or rasam powder, if using, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until beans are tender, about 10 minutes.

Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until all of the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes more; season with salt. Serve immediately.

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