Last evening I went through with my plan to make delicious, crunchy and decadent Dal Vada, otherwise known as dal pakora or dal fritters. We first had this recipe in India at the house of some friends, and it’s a little bit of effort due to the necessity of pre-soaking the beans (dal) and of course the trouble of deep frying anything. It may be a good thing it does take effort, because it’s so good I might otherwise be tempted to make it all the time! However, deep fried food and rice alone doesn’t seem like a proper meal, even with tasty chutney. I had intended to make Madras-style spinach from my A Taste of Madras: A South Indian Cookbook. This is a cookbook I use very rarely, perhaps because it is non-veg. However, it does have a good selection of rice dishes (including pulao), a good dosa recipe, and many chutney recipes, so I have kept it around. At the last minute I decided not to make the spinach recipe because DH hates spinach and instead I made a recipe from the same cookbook for green beans. I modified the recipe to work for those with lactose intolerance or vegans (depending on the modification you use) and it was absolutely delicious but less heavy than my other favorite Indian green bean recipe. I hope you enjoy this recipe! See my favorite Indian cookbooks below.
Madras Style Green Bean Recipe
1 small red onion
1/2 pound green beans
2 tsp. ghee or butter (low lactose) OR mustard oil OR coconut oil
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 cup milk of choice (I used rice milk)
2 tbsp. plain yogurt (soy or rice yogurt is ok if you like the flavor)
1/2 tsp paprika or chili powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric
salt to taste
1 tsp. ground coriander
Cut the red onion in half and remove the outer skin. Thinly slice the red onion. Cut your green onions into short, bite sized pieces- either in half or in thirds for very long beans.
Heat 2 tsp of ghee, butter, mustard oil or coconut oil in a cast iron pan on medium. *Make sure your pan has a lid.* Add the cumin seeds and when they start to brown, add your milk. Whisk in yogurt and add spices through salt (reserving the coriander). Let your sauce simmer for five minutes and then throw in your onions and green beans. Sprinkle coriander on top. Add lid and simmer for five minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of hot water and stir ingredients to evenly distribute the liquid. Cover again and cook for 10+ minutes (or less if you have very thin beans). You can check on the beans periodically to see if they are done to your liking. If they get too dry and you are cooking them longer than ten minutes you may want to add another tablespoon of hot water and replace the lid. When done serve on rice or other grain of choice, preferably with a dal lentil dish or pakora.