Have you ever bought this red noodle beans? In my latest trip to the Asian store, I spotted this vibrant “Chinese Red noodle beans”. They were stacked next to the green yardlong beans and I couldn’t ignore this purple beauty! I picked a bunch of purple and green one without any recipe in mind.
The green yard long beans are not alien in Asian cuisine. They are tagged as Asparagus beans, yard long beans (though they don’t reach a yard), snake beans (quiet apt for the purple), Chinese long beans. In Tamil Nadu, it is known as payathangai or Karamani.
Coming to the purple one, they taste similar to the green beans and not to forget they are string less (less work). It is firm, meatier and retains well the purple color once cooked. Could you believe the yard long beans are related with black eye peas and classified as legume?
The only recipe I could recall was something that my mom does: stir fried beans along with small shrimps. But seafood doesn’t get a warm welcome in our table. I referred to the old cookbook ‘Samaipathu eppadi' (how to cook?) by Smt. Vedavalli for the usili recipe.
The recipe needs a prep work, soak the lentils, ground it and steam it. So better to double the quantity and freeze a portion for later use.
| Ingredients |
3 tbsp of Bengal gram/chana
3 tbsp of toor dhal
5 Red chillies
¼ Hing powder
1/8 to ¼ salt (adjust according your taste)
A bunch of yard long beans (mine yielded: 3 cups)
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of urad dhal
2 to 3 tsp of oil
Step 1: prepare the lentils
Rinse the lentils/dhals thrice. Soak the lentils for 2 hours. Drain and ground into a coarse paste along with red chillies, salt and hing.
Grease an idli plate, fill the mold with ground lentils and steam it around 15 min or keep in pressure cooker and leave two whistles.
Once cooled down, broke into small pieces and keep ready or you can freeze at this stage.
Step 2 make the yardlong beans usili
Wash the yard long beans and trim both end. Cut into the desire length.
Bring water to boil, add salt and blanch the beans for 5 minutes and drain it. I didn’t plunge in cold water.
Heat a 2 tsp. of oil, add mustard seeds and urad dhal, add the steamed lentils and fry few minutes, mix the blanched yard beans and cooked another 5 minutes . You can adjust the salt if it is less and serve with rasam rice.
The usili can be done with green beans, cluster beans, etc..
Is this purple yard long beans look spooky for the Halloween season?