Once the Onam sadhya images were up yesterday, there were a couple of requests for the green beans upperi recipe. It was predominantly to know how it was made and how the green colour was retained. Well, some tricks and tips should help you fix that along with the green beans stirfry recipe.
Upperi is actually the name for the plantain banana chips. When you come to Central Kerala, the thoran is called upperi. So, the cabbage thoran becomes cabbage upperi, so on and so forth. Hence, beans thoran or beans upperi are the same and tastes perfect on the banana leaf meal too.
Selecting the green beans.
Selecting green beans is one of the easiest. Choose firm and crisp beans that are deep green. If the beans are limp when you pick them up, avoid this totally. If you are handpicking, check the beans by snapping them, they break on a clean line. Avoid the beans that are curled up as they have more chances of caterpillars in them. Also, feel the beans to see if the seeds are fully formed, if so they will be fibrous and chewy.
The selecting technique is pretty much the same for french beans that we made the foogath with. The French beans are a bit lighter in colour, slightly longer and a bit more tender.
Cooking the green beans
The home-style green beans upperi is a very simple recipe. To quickly outline the steps, here it is.
Evenly chop the beans.
Set up the basic South Indian tempering (in coconut oil)
Stirfry the beans for two minutes.
Cover and cook with a few sprinkles of water and a pinch of sugar.
Add the grated coconut and stirfry further for few minutes and that is your green beans stirfry.
Tips to maintain the green colour of the beans while cooking.
The overcooking of the beans makes them bleached in colour. This is not very appetising. My time tested tips to maintain the green colour are the following.
- Cover and steam the chopped green beans. Don’t use a lot of water.
- Use a pinch of sugar to keep the bright green.
- Remove from the cooking pan as soon as you finish the stirfry. This helps to reduce the heat and maintain the colour.
- frying pan
- 250 grams green beans.
- 1/4 medium carrot ( optional)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp Urad Dal
- 1/4 tsp Channa Dal
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 1 small dry red chillies
- salt to taste
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- 3 tbsp grated coconut
- Wash and pat dry the beans.
- String them and cut them into 1 cm pieces. Set it aside till needed.
- Chop the carrots into 1 cm cubes and set it aside.
- Into a frying pan, on medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds
- Once the mustard seeds crackle, add the urad dal, channa dal and red chillies.
- When the dal turns golden, add the curry leaves followed by the chopped beans and carrot ( optional, see notes below)
- Stir fry for a minute, add the salt and turmeric powder.
- Mix well add 2-3 tablespoon of water and cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Open the lid carefully after 5 minutes, add the coconut and stirfry for another minute.
- Remove from heat and serve warm.
The beans upperi is a recipe so commonly made at our house to go with the rice and maanga vattal kozhambu. At times I really don’t need the rice on the platter for this warm salad meal. This is also one I love for the banana leaf meal or the south Indian thali.