Daily Archives: August 4, 2011

Beans Pachai Payaru Thuvaran – Beans and Green Gram Dry Curry

The dry vegetable curries called thuvaran or poriyal or the kuzhambus or gravy dishes would require oil only for thaalippu or tadka (seasoning). I believe in minimum oil usage in any receipe.

A little bit of patient research showed me that using five teaspoons of oil in a recipe and two teaspoons did not make any difference. Only when nearly eight to ten teaspoons of oil is used, there is remarkable shine and glow in the end product. Greasy food is not healthy food. So, when I am not ready to use ten teaspoons in a dish, why use five when two teaspoons give the same result!! In fact two teaspoons is for those who really feel it is an insult to the vegetables not providing  adequate oil – one teaspoon is sufficient though. I use only one.

These are some of the dishes which come out really well without any bonding with the pan in spite of the one teaspoon oil. For those who find it difficult, can try initially with two. If you relish the slight glow in the finished dish while serving, use one teaspoon (or no oil) for cooking and heat one teaspoon oil and give a tadka at the end. You are nearly there with the glow of 10 teaspoon oil.

I always add garlic to most of my dishes as I believe in its medicinal properties. It adds to the flavour in dry recipes and helps in combatting gastric problems. Ginger and garlic are two ingredients which can be altered as per one’s taste preferences.

Beans Pachai payaru Thuvaran – Beans and Green gram dry curry

steamed beans

cooked green gram


thuvaran – dry curry



  • Green beans – 500 gms
  • Cooked green gram  – 1 cup
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Garlic – 3 cloves mashed coarsely
  • Green chillies – 2 no.s split into halves
  • Red chillies – 2 no.s broken into two  
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Salt – to taste
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida (Perungayam /Hing) – 1/2 tsp
  • Grated coconut – 1/2 cup (optional)

Method of preparation

  1. Finely cut green beans and steam in microwave for seven minutes
  2. If cooking in a pressure cooker, use water in the base of the cooker and cook beans without water in a smaller vessel inside
  3. Green gram should not be cooked mushy; it should be intact 
  4. Take one tsp cooking oil in a wide pan or kadai – (Iruppu Chatti)
  5. Add mustard seeds; when it splutters add urad dal
  6. Simmer and add curry leaves, crushed garlic and both the chillies
  7. Garlic is optional – It’s good as it reduces gastric problems which might arise due to the green gram
  8. Fry just for a few seconds since there is very little oil in the Chatti, it might get burnt easily
  9. Add the cooked beans and mix well
  10. Sprinkle turmeric powder and salt and mix
  11. Add the cooked green gram dal and mix all together
  12. Always keep the stove in minimum heat and close with lid for a couple of minutes
  13. Open the lid and stir for another minute and its done
  14. Sprinkle asafoetida on top and mix well (Asafoetida powder can also be added to oil initially if one dislikes the fresh sprinkled smell on top
  15. Also sprinkle freshly grated coconut
  16. Ready to serve with Rice and Kuzhambu/Chappathi and dal

Kaaikari Sodhi – Vegetable Stew (Maapillai Sodhi -The Son-in-law Stew)

Kaaikari Sodhi – Vegetable Stew

In Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi – the down south districts of tamilnadu, kaaikari sodhi or vegetable stew is a special recipe. Speciality lies not only in its preparation but also in the occasion. The hindu marriage is held in the morning hours of the day. Evening is the reception with nalangu and simple games between bride and groom.  Next morning also has small and simple ceremonies with only close family members. Though the marriage is done by the bride’s family, this next day meal is hosted by the groom’s family which is Rice and Vegetable Stew.

From now on, the Stew travels hand in hand with the son-in-law. At least for the first few years, whenever the groom and bride visit relative’s places, they are always offered rice and vegetable stew with more delicacies.  As stew is cooked with coconut milk, for easy digestion it is always accompanied by ginger chutney.


  • carrots, beans, potatoes – cut into rectangular pieces – 1 cup
  • green peas – 1/4 cup
  • cauliflower – cut into small florets – 1/2 cup
  • small onions – 6 no.s
  • garlic – cut vertically – 6 cloves
  • cooked yellow lentil (peeled broken greengram – moong dal)  – 1/2 cup
  • cooking oil – 2 tsp.
  • salt – to taste

coconut milk: 

  • i. 1st milk – thick milk extracted  with less water – 1 cup
  • ii. 2nd milk – thinner than first with more water added while grinding – 1 cup
  • iii. 3rd milk – thinnest of all – 1 cup
  • coriander leaves – to garnish
  • lemon juice – 5 tsp


  1. mustard seeds  – 1tsp
  2. curry leaves – a few
  3. green chillies – slit into halves – 3 no.s

Method of preparation

  1. Cook all the vegetables except cauliflower in the third milk until tender
  2. Blanch cauliflower separately
  3. Keep aside the cooked yellow lentil
  4. Heat oil in a heavy pan and add mustard seeds. let them splutter.
  5. Fry the onions, garlic cloves, green chillies and curry leaves. If small onions are not available, normal onions can be cut and used
  6. Add the cooked vegetables and the milk used for cooking and the cauliflower florets into the pan
  7. Add salt and bring it to boil
  8. Simmer and add the 2nd milk and stir
  9. Add the cooked lentil. Make it a little pulpy by adding some water. Or else lumps might be formed
  10. When this comes to a boil, add the thick 1st milk. Simmer for a while. Do not let it boil too much or else the coconut milk might curdle.
  11. Little water or thin coconut milk can be added for the right consistency
  12. Just before serving, add the lemon juice and mix well
  13. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice

This stew is always had with Inji Thuvayal or Ginger Chutney. See inji thuvayal-ginger chutney for the recipe.

Tip: To make stew faster, vegetables can be steamed and thick 1st milk/canned coconut milk can be added instead of 1st, 2nd and 3rd milk. Though taste might differ a little, it is less time consuming.