I love all kinds of vegetables especially the green ones and beans is one of my favorite.
A vegetable dish become all the more appealing to me when it is cooked in such a way that the veggies retain their original color as much as possible (yet they are not raw).
Beans fry / Beans poriyal is so easy and quick to make yet tasty that it is my go to side dish if I don’t have time to cook elaborate meals.
Beans is a readily available vegetable that is not only easy on the wallet but is also very versatile that it can be added to all kinds of dishes like soups, stews, side dishes, fried rice and kurmas. Beans belongs to the legume family in which the fruit opens along the seams on two sides and the seeds are called pods. Legumes are valued not only for their nutritional benefits but also for their root nodules and their nitrogen fixing ability.
A few health benefits of beans- the super food
- Beans are considered to be one of the best sources of plant protein and a healthier alternative to high fat red meat. They are high in protein and hence high in energy and help ward off hunger for longer duration.
- It is rich in B-complex. Pregnant ladies and ladies trying to conceive are advised to consume beans regularly because of its high levels of folic acid.
- Beans are very high in soluble fiber that reduces cholesterol. This high fiber food makes us feel fuller faster that it is one of the best foods for portion control.
- It not only has high amounts of fiber but it also has complex carbohydrates that controls blood sugar. Unlike rice that causes a surge in blood sugar followed by a quick slump, beans has a low glycemic index and maintains blood sugar levels for longer time. Since hunger is postponed, our temptation to snack is reduced.
- One of the best natural remedies for constipation is regular consumption of high fiber vegetables like beans
However some beans like soya beans can interfere with absorption of B vitamins and can also mimic estrogen. Moderation is the key here.Beans is not for everyone
Because of the high protein content, people with kidney problems should consult their doctor before adding beans to their diet as there is a risk of high uric acid.
How to avoid the embarrassing flatulence caused by beans
Some people avoid beans because it may cause gas or embarrassing flatulence. But Indian method of cooking deals with this because we always add digestive aids and anti-flatulent ingredients like turmeric, garlic and asafoetida powder when cooking legumes.
There are some who claim that the quality of amino acids found in beans is not comparable to the body building amino acids found in eggs and red meat.
Some cultures follow the practice called “protein combining” where they consume legumes with another protein source. The two items are complimentary and provide the body with necessary amino acids. For example: Indians usually combine rice with dal. This practice has been going on for hundreds of years in India and various other cultures but it became a topic for discussion when Frances Moore Lappé published his controversial book titled “Diet for a small planet”.
Actually there is no scientific backing for this. But my mom also believes that when various dals were combined to made adai, it becomes a complete meal and we get all the necessary nutrients. Thanks to her belief, adai obviously found its place on our plates at least once a week.
(Adai is a south Indian spicy version of dosa where a cup of all kinds of dals like channa dal, urad dal, moong dal, toor dal etc are soaked together with rice and then ground with red chillies and garlic. After seasoning, fried onions are added to the batter. The ground batter has a coarse consistency and Adai is usually thicker than dosa. It can be consumed with coconut chutney or sugar or butter)
Recipe for Beans Fry / Beans Poriyal
Beans – 300 gms
Onion – 1 medium sized
Channa dal – 1 /2 cup
Salt – taste
Water – half cup
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Cilantro – a few leaves
Oil – 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds – 1 / 2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds – 1 / 2 teaspoon
Ural dal – 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves – 5 -10
Red chilli – 1 or 2
Before getting the other ingredients ready, wash and soak Channa dal in a cup of water preferably hot water. Don’t skip this step or the channa dal will not be soft.
Wash and cut beans.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds
Once the seeds are done spluttering, add red chilli and when it turns dark in color, add washed curry leaves.
Then add ural dal and when the dal is slight brown in color, add thinly sliced onions.
Stir fry the onions and when they turn golden brown, add half a cup of water and the soaked channa dal.
Allow the channa dal to cook in this water till becomes soft but not soggy.
Once channa dal is cooked and water has evaporated, add the beans. Stir fry in low to medium heat constantly sprinkling water to make sure they are getting cooked without getting burnt but at the same time, they maintain some firmness and don’t become a soggy mess.
When the beans is cooked, switch off the flame and add cilantro or coriander leaves. You may also add freshly shredded coconut for enhanced taste.
Enjoy with sambar and rice or just plain rice. Protein combining – Indian recipe- Beans fry – beans poriyal