Long Beans Stir Fry – Kerala Style

A dry vegetable side dish perfect to go with rice. You can make it with all the three vegetables suggested here, i.e. long beans, elephant yam, and raw plantain or you could cook them individually in the same method. This dish tastes best when Kerala nenthra variety of raw plantains are used but you can make it with other variety of raw bananas also. This dish used to be a favorite and a regular at my paternal ancestral home. I still remember the taste of this dish when my aunt made it. It would taste so delicious with the earthy flavors of the yam and delicate smell of the coconut oil and curry leaves. Since not many spices are used, the taste of the vegetables and the curry leaves fried in coconut oil is predominant in this dish. My aunt usually made this along with pulingari (a dish similar to sambhar) which was a much loved combo.

Long beans – 200 gm
Elephant yam – 100 gm
Raw plantain (banana) – 1 medium sized
Chopped shallots / onion – 2 tbsp (optional)
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder / Whole dry red chili – 1/2 to 3/4 tsp or 2 whole pieces
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coconut oil – as required
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Water- as required
Salt to taste

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes
Serves: 4 to 5 people

Clean the long beans, cut the ends and chop them to 1 to 1.5-inch long pieces. For beans that are mature (you can identify this from the seeds bulging out slightly), slit them open and use only the seeds. Remove the skin of the elephant yam, wash thoroughly, and cut into 1-cm cubes. Remove the outer skin of the raw plantain and cut into small pieces. Put all the cut vegetables into a pot, add half a cup of water and turmeric powder. Cook in slow fire with a closed lid, stirring occasionally.
Once all the moisture dries up and the vegetables are tender, turn off the fire. Heat an iron kadai (this is preferred as it enhances the flavor) and pour oil.
Add mustard seeds and once they crackle, add shallots that are lightly crushed using a mortar and pestle. (you can chop the shallots / onion but I prefer crushing them lightly). Onion is optional. You may skip it also.
Saute the shallots well. Add curry leaves and chili powder. Mix well.
Add the cooked vegetables, add salt, mix well,
Reduce the flame and cook flame to low,add  turmeric powder and red chili powder.Saute for few minutes until all the moisture is absorbed and the stir fry dish is lightly roasted. Turn off the flame and serve with rice.

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