Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr
This is one of my favorite Indian recipes. It's like nothing you have ever tasted before. You have to have a lot of curry leaves though and the dried powdered ones don't really work well in this recipe. It's a two step recipe. First you make the usili aka lentil cake. You can make it ahead and then the rest is easy. Or you can cook up the beans while the lentil cake is cooling. You HAVE to let the lentil cake cool, or it won't work. From Vegetarian Samayal of South India.
- 1 lb green beans, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup curry leaf
- 1⁄4 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1⁄3 cup sesame oil or 1⁄3 cup other oil
- 1 cup toor dal or 1 cup split yellow lentils
- 5 -6 red chilies
- 1⁄2 teaspoon asafoetida powder (optional)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3 cups hot water
- TO MAKE THE USILI.
- Soak red gram in hot water for 20 minutes.
- Drain water and blend dal, red chilies, asafoetida, tumeric and some salt to a coarse paste, adding water as necessary.
- Put the lentil paste in a heat proof bowl. Put this bowl, uncovered, in a pan or rice cooker with water in the pan up to about the middle of the bowl. Cover the pan/rice cooker and steam the lentil paste for about 20 minutes. Make sure you don't run out of water. It's done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Set aside and let cool. While it's cooling make the beans part of the dish.
- When cool crumble.
- TO MAKE THE BEANS.
- Chop the beans into small pieces.
- Bring one cup of salted water to a boil and add beans. Toss until light green.
- Cover and simmer 5-7 minutes or until done.
- Drain and set aside.
- TO MAKE THE DISH.
- Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. Cook until they start to pop and turn grey.
- Add the crumbled lentil cake and the curry leaves to the oil and stir well for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the beans and stir well until its soft and crumbly.