Black Eyed Beans and Coconut Milk Curry

The cuisine of Kerala is very unique – some dishes are fiery while others are very delicately flavoured like this curry. Most of the recipes have coconut in them, in some form or the other. This dish is called Olan and is traditionally prepared with pumpkin. But you can use any vegetable – I added green beans to this curry.

Coconut oil is the preferred oil for cooking in this region. This dish is very nutritious and easy to prepare. It goes well with steamed rice, chapatis or any other type of flatbread.

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PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 40 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

  • 3/4th cup black eyed beans
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
  • 11/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp rice flour mixed with 2-3 tbsp of water
  • Salt to taste

For the tempering

  • 3 tsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 4 shallots, sliced thinly
  • Curry leaves

Soak the black eyed beans overnight. Wash and pressure cook with three cups of water.

Top and tail the green beans and cut them into one inch pieces.

Cook the green beans, green chillies, cumin and salt together in a pan with one cup of water. When the beans are tender, add the cooked black eyed beans and ½ cup of the coconut milk. Cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Add the rice flour mixed with water and simmer for a few more minutes.

Add the remaining coconut milk and heat for a few minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they stop popping add the shallots and cook for a few minutes. Add the curry leaves and remove immediately from the heat. Add this to the curry. Serve hot.

Mixed Lentil Pancakes

This is a complete balanced nutritious meal by itself. It’s also vegan, like many vegetarian dishes in India and really delicious.

Lentils contain lysine while rice contains sulphur based amino acids missing in lentils. Therefore, a combination of rice and lentils makes it a complete protein, supplying the body with the essential amino acids that it requires. In fact, rice and dal is a great food for weight loss.

The Indian word for this preparation is called ‘Adai’. The mixture has to be very thick and it should not be ground fine – rather like semolina. The mixture should not easily fall off the spoon. And the pancakes are quite thick. It will take some time to cook through and hence the heat should be low.

I have included the Indian names of the lentils also, in case you want to purchase them from an Indian grocery store.

The best accompaniment for this is the coconut chutney that I had shared earlier with the Split Mung Pancakes. It’s best to have this for breakfast (if you have the time to soak the lentils) or for lunch. I like them golden brown at the edges and on the inside. The addition of raw rice makes them crunchy.

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PREP: 11/2 hours+10 minutes COOK TIME: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw rice
  • 1 cup boiled rice
  • ½ cup split pigeon peas (Toor dal)
  • ½ cup yellow split peas (Channa dal)
  • ½ cup split black gram dal (Urad dal)
  • ¼ cup split mung dal (Mung dal)
  • 10 dry red chillis
  • 1 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 3 tbsp curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

Wash the rice and lentils. Soak the raw rice, boiled rice, pigeon peas, chickpeas and black gram dal with just enough water to cover them for 11/2 hours.

Soak the split mung dal separately in a little water.

Grind the rice and dal mixture with the red chillies, asafoetida, curry leaves and cumin to a coarse paste. Do not add too much water. Add the soaked mung and salt. Mix well.

Heat a frying pan and spoon about a cup of the batter. Spread it into a thick pancake – the batter will be difficult to spread. It cannot be spread thin. Use a little vegetable oil to pour around the edges and cover the pancake. When the edges are golden brown, flip the pancake and cook on the other side until it turns golden brown. Serve hot with coconut chutney. This recipe makes about 8–10 pancakes.

Buttered Eggs

Nothing could be simpler than this breakfast or brunch dish. Green chillies, ginger, onions and herbs combine with eggs to give this recipe quite a strong flavour kick. Hot toast is all that is needed to make this really special.

It may seem like scrambled eggs, but it tastes quite different. Butter elevates this simple recipe to a new level. The herbs and chillies provide a vibrant colour and it’s so easy to make.

The perfect way to start the day with a nutritious and protein packed meal. It will boost your energy levels through the morning, ready to face the day. It’s delicious served with wholemeal toast or even bagels.

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PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 15 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

  • 10 eggs
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2 tbsp ginger, chopped finely
  • 4 tbsp curry leaves, chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Heat a large pan of water to a boil.

Whisk the eggs with enough salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions, green chillies and ginger. When the onions are cooked through, add the curry leaves and coriander. Mix well and take the pan off the heat. Cool for about 10 minutes and add it to the eggs.

Reduce the heat and place the bowl of eggs in the boiling water (double boiler method of cooking). Add the butter. As the eggs begin to set, stir gently until they form large soft curds. Keep lifting and folding the eggs until they start to thicken. Cook the eggs until they are soft and creamy. Pile on hot toast and serve immediately.