Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Green beans and bell pepper Parippu Usli

One of my new year resolutions was to conquer my fear of making rotis and parathas- beacuase that is really what it is - A fear of failing. So this year, at least once a month I attempt to roll out rotis or partthas for the family. I am slowly getting better - the rotis are not stiff as cardboard anymore. Their shape continues to defy description.  I made some Parippu Usli to go with compensate for the rotis. Parippu Usli is one of those traditional Tambrahm foods; really simple and extremely delicious.  I made it with a combination of green beans and bell pepper.  And twisted it up some more by swapping moong daal for the traditional Thuvar daal.

2 lbs green beans chopped fine
12 oz bag of mixed frozen bell peppers ( or about 2 fresh bell peppers chopped)
1/2 tsp mustard
2 dried red chillies
2 -3  tbsp oil

For the usli
1/2 c moong daal
2 tbsp channa daal
2 serrano peppers (This made it quite spicy. Use less if you want a milder version)
1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
A fistful of coriander leaves and stems
1 inch piece of ginger
1 tsp of cumin

Soak the moong daal and the channa daal together for a couple of hours at least. If you don't have couple of hours (like me) microwave the soaked daals  for 5 minutes, cover it with a plate and set it on the counter for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Now chop your green beans.

Drain the soaked daals, add the other ingredients for the usli and process to a coarse paste without adding water. Add salt to taste.  Put the processed  daals  in a microwave safe bowl and steam for 3 to 4 minutes. It should come together into a mass. Make sure it is not too dry. Break it up with a fork and steam for a couple more minutes in the microwave.

Heat the oil in a pan and temper it with the mustard seeds and dried red chilies. Add the green beans, salt lightly, cover and cook  for about 7 to 8 minutes. The beans should still have a crunch. Add the dal mixture(breaking up the clumps if necessary)and the bell peppers and continue to cook (another 10 minutes almost) till the beans soften and the ground daal is  not smelling or tasting raw anymore.  Serve hot with rotis or rice. 

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