Another classic Tamil dish, Paruppu Usili, is my post for today.
I love paruppu usili because it makes eating veggies even more fun. In fact, it’s like eating bhujias (which share many of the same flavors) without the guilt of eating deep-fried food. What’s more, you can make it with a variety of veggies.
I shared my broccoli paruppu usili recipe a while ago, but the green bean version is a true classic. Almost every time I have eaten paruppu usili at a relative’s home, it has been made with green beans. And it has always been beyond delicious.
I used haricot vert (French for green beans), which are skinnier and longer than the green beans found commonly in U.S. markets, but feel free to use regular green beans. I’d advise cutting them into really small pieces, though.
I won’t prattle on much because I really have to run and watch some TV: with the Olympics, the Democratic convention and the upcoming Republican convention, television hasn’t been so much fun in a long time! But first, here’s the recipe.
Green Bean Paruppu Usili
1 pound green beans, chopped finely lengthwise
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp udad dal (black gram dal)
A generous pinch asafetida (hing)
1/4 cup chana dal (bengal gram dal)
1/4 cup tuvar dal
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 dry red chilies
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
Soak the chana dal and tuvar dal in water for at least an hour. Then grind to a paste with cumin seeds, red chilies, turmeric and salt, using as little water as is feasible.
Transfer the paste to a microwave-safe bowl and zap for two minutes. Take it out, turn it around with a fork, and microwave the other side for another minute. The paste should have solidified by now. If it hasn’t, microwave it until the paste is set. Set aside.
Cook the green beans until just tender.
Heat the oil in a cast-iron or other skillet.
Add the mustard seeds and, when they pop, add the udad dal and asafetida.
When the udad dal turns lightly brown, add the beans and stir to coat.
Now crumble the ground lentil paste into the pan. Stir, breaking up any bigger pieces with the ladle. Cook until the crumbled lentils starts to turn just lightly brown and no longer taste raw.