Green beans with mustard, curry leaf and coconut


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

In Kerala, thoren is a very popular side dish, and it simply means stir-fried finely chopped or shredded vegetables cooked in a spice-perfumed oil. The fresh colours of the vegetables in this version, Payaru Thoren, are preserved along with all their nutrients, because of the quick-cooking method.


  • 450 g/1lb whole green beans, fresh or frozen
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp sunflower oil or light olive oil
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp black or brown mustard seeds
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 dried red chilli, snipped
  • 8–10 curry leaves, fresh or dried
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp desiccated (dry unsweetened shredded) coconut


  1. Trim the beans, then blanch them in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water for 2 minutes.

  2. Drain the beans, then plunge them immediately into cold water to prevent further cooking. If you are using frozen beans, it is not necessary to blanch them.

  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, but not smoking, add the mustard seeds.

  4. As soon as the seeds start popping, add the cumin, chillies and curry leaves.

  5. Allow the chillies to blacken slightly, then add the blanched beans and the salt. Stir-fry for 2–3 minutes, then cover the pan tightly and reduce the heat to low.

  6. Cook the beans in their own juices for 10–12 minutes, until tender but still firm. Stir the beans once or twice during the cooking time.

  7. Add the coconut, mix well and remove from the heat. Serve immediately.

Per portion Energy 118kcal/487kJ; Protein 3g; Carbohydrate 4g, of which sugars 3g; Fat 11g, of which saturates 3g; Cholesterol 0mg; Calcium 52mg; Fibre 4.2g; Sodium 248mg.