Monday, April 8, 2013

Green Beans and Lentil stir fry / Matodi Palya

Almost everyone loves their mother's cooking. I am no exception. My mother happens to be one of the best cooks I know. There are a few things I would rather do a little differently than her. She used to be liberal when it comes to using oil. Oil makes it tasty, yes but can I afford to eat that extra TBSP of oil? probably not. No, make it most definitely not. Just because a dish has quite a good amount of fat doesn't mean you cannot make it with less of fat. That is exactly what I did in this dish. My mother used to make it with lot of oil and oil is needed if you use the stove top method to cook since the lentil paste sticks to the bottom. I have cut down on the oil but cook it a little differently and it is also less time consuming compared to my mother's method.

I have been obsessed with few other things than cooking, baking and blogging recently. So, to keep me motivated and post regularly, I and Srivalli came up with this weekend cooking concept where we will post something that we made on weekends. Another blogger friend Vaishali joins us in this venture. Now, for some people, weekend cooking can be special, but for me, it is the total opposite since I plan on getting lot of other work done during those two days. So, meals are actually simple on weekends unless there is company.

One Year Back - Sweet and Sour Tomato Chutney
Two Years Back - Wholegrain Savory Pancakes, No Sugar added applesauce Muffins
Three Years Back - Savory Onion Tart, Sourdough Banana Loaf with almond butter
Green Beans - 2 Pounds cleaned and chopped into small lengths
Coconut - 1/2 cup grated
Red Chillies - 8 - 10  (depending on how hot you like your food)
Bengal Gram dal / Kadale bele / Dehusked split chickpeas - 1 cup
Asafoetida / Hing - Few generous pinches
Cumin - 1 tsp (optional)
Turmeric - a generous pinch
Salt - to taste

For Tempering:
Oil -  3 TBSP (You can use much more than this, but this is sufficient for the method given in this recipe)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 2 broken
Bengal gram dal - 1 TBSP
Soak the bengal gram dal in enough water for about an hour or so. Drain all the water. Take this in a food processor fitted with chopping blade or a blender (chutney jar) and blend with coconut, hing, red chillies, cumin, turmeric. Do not add any water and try to make a coarse paste. In a pressure cooker, cook the green beans in enough water to which a little salt is added. When done, drain the water. Use the water in soup or rasam or sambar.
Heat oil in a skillet. When hot, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add broken red chillies, bengal gram dal (1 TBSP given in 'for tempering' section). When they get toasted, add the ground lentil coconut paste and stir. Keep the flame to low and keep stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the cooked and drained green beans and mix well. Make sure there are no huge lumps of the lentil paste and keep on stirring. Adjust the salt if necessary and turn off the heat. Take the entire contents into a microwave safe bowl. Cover with a microwave safe plate or cover with saran wrap and microwave for 5 to 10 minutes until the lentil paste is cooked and the mixture doesn't have huge amount of moisture. Another option is to steam cook it for 5 minutes. Enjoy with rice and rasam or even chapathis, rotis.

Lot of people use Toor dal or pigeon pea lentil for this recipe. I have also seen people using half toor dal and half chana dal. I prefer to use chana dal since on a regular basis, we cook with toor dal and this lentil gives a different variation. 
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  1. One of my favorites too... i use a non stick pan on low heat to minimize oil and get the same taste as mothers' method...

  2. hey i have the same bowl... same pinch!!! and this curry looks delicious and interesting..

  3. I never knew that matodi palya could be made with green beans as well. We normally make this curry either with fenugreek leaves or with cluster beans. Loved the recipe champa. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Nandita,
      My mom made it with gorikayi and menthya soppu too. I don't like gorikayi but I love this dish, so I started making it with green beans and since everyone loved the way it turned out, started making it with just this.

  4. That's an interesting dish Champa, The channa daal always gives us a wonderful flavor...would love to try it with some green peas!

  5. I love how the stir fry looks..I end up trying to make how my mom you said we always love our mom's cooking. Even though my mom doesn't use that much oil, there is always something missing in my dish when I recreate it..will be looking forward to do this weekly champa..

  6. Mouthwatering dish.. Nice clicks

  7. I love my mom's cooking too and you said even if i recreate, something is always missing. Stir fry looks nice !!

  8. Even sometime i stick with simple foods during weekends, thats a fabulous and nutritious stir fry on the same time.


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