Sauteed String beans (Mezhukupuratti)

Sauteed string beans
Beans Mezhukupuratti - Sauteed Beans, Kerala style

I wish I could schedule posts to appear at regular intervals while I am busy at work or sleep or whatever, but it is just not me! I find the process a little too robotic. How would you like it if your life were like this - "8:00am, 8:00am - time to go, time to go", and a machine yanks you out of your bed and thrusts you out of the house - I don't like the idea of my posts appearing like that without any former styling or dressing up!! So here I am, with fewer posts but hopefully good enough to keep your sights trained on my blog.

Today's dish is again to do with memories! I have so many of them cluttering up my brain sometimes it is a wonder that I live in the present!

In my younger days I was put up in a working womens' hostel and thanks to the watery dal, half cooked rice and extremely spicy and boring vegetables, I learnt to really respect and love good homemade food. I had a very close girl friend - B - who was a confidante and whose family soon adopted me as a fourth daughter! After marraige B left India and our ways parted until recently, when I met her accidentally in Colaba Causeway, where I was shopping with a friend for trinkets. We did communicate before, though infrequently via emails but meeting her there, unexpectedly, after a long time, reminded me that it was ages since I had bonded with my adopted family. Last weekend I made the long trip downtown and it was a good thing I did! I had a memorable evening with B's Mother treating me to tasy pazhamporis as we chatted animatedly, catching up on lost times. Today's dish is what I tasted first at B's house as a weekend boarder during my hostel days. I used to request Aunty to cook it quite often and love this better than the general beans poduthuval. B is a simple girl and yet a diva, and this mezhukupuratti personifies her - it is simple and sumptuous!

During the rains we get juicy, tender string beans. This dish tastes best made at this time!

String beans
String beans

Mezhukupuratti/mezhukuvaratti is the Kerala/Palakkad term that refers to a method of cooking that basically includes 'sauteed vegetables or legumes' in oil. When made with vegetables they look as tasty as they taste but when made with legumes, I find that the sight isn't as good as the taste - any ideas on how I could make them look more appealing?

Dish:Beans mezhukupurrati
Level: This one is a breeze - there is no way you can go wrong:)
Serves: 3 hearty eaters
Serving suggestion: Complements Sambar, Rasam and Morkootan extremely well!

1/2kg string beans slit along the length and then chopped into inch long pieces. If they are too thin just chop into inch long pieces.
Onions, sliced thin - 4 small ones
Oil - 1tbsp + 1tsp.
Salt to taste - 1/2 + 1/2

Jeera - 2tsp.


Wash and chop beans as above.

Heat a tbsp. of oil and when hot splutter cumin seeds.

Add the sliced onions and cook on slow fire till they are burnt or caramalized well.

Add the chopped beans and half the salt. Mix well and cover and cook, stirring occassionally so that the beans are uniformly cooked. I like them slightly crunchy and not too soft. If you like them softer, just cook a little more. Generally tender beans cook well in their own juice which is let out when salt is added. If the beans are not tender you may have to add about a quarter cup of water to help them cook.

Add a tsp. of oil if the beans stick to the pan. If you have been stirring regularly the beans will not stick but in case they do, the oil will help them to un-glue and also add a gloss if you need to photograph them later:).

Sauteed string beans
Beans Mezhukupuratti - Sauteed Beans, Kerala style

Happy Dassera to visitors who are celebrating this festival!

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