French Beans Kootu/Stew

French beans have plenty benefits like eye care, improved bone health, control diabetes, improve immunity, prevent colon cancer and reduce heart risks. In today's blog post, we are going to see healthy vegetarian dish made using lentils and french beans.

Kootu or stew is a south indian recipe, which is nothing but pressure cooked lentils with onions, tomatoes, garlic (helps reducing gastric troubles caused by lentils), turmeric powder. Then any vegetable like cabbage, squash, french beans, carrots, peas could be added and cooked for few more whistles or until done. Then comes the freshly ground cocount, cumin and black pepper corns paste. This spicy and tasty paste gets added to the pressure cooked dhal/lentil + vegetable combo to make the kootu or stew. Then you can temper it with coconut oil or any cooking oil along with mustard, urad dhal/black gram and few red chillies. Let's see how to make French beans kootu.


1 cup masoor dhal
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 green chilli or dried red chilli
1 medium sized tomato, roughly chopped
a fat pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp cooking oil, vegetable or gingely or olive oil
2 cups of chopped french beans
2 garlic pods

For tempering:

1 tbsp cooking oil, vegetable or gingely or olive oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp split black gram or urad dhal
2 broken dried red chillies
a pinch of hing or asafoetid

For grinding:
2 tbsp grated coconut, you can also use equivalent amount of coconut slices.
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black pepper corns, adjust the pepper corns per your spice level.

How to make french beans kootu/stew:

1. In a pressure cooker add washed masoor dhal, onion, tomato, chilli, garlic pods, turmeric powder, oil and 2 cups of water.

Tip: You can wash and soak the masoor dhal in water for 20 minutes before cooking.
Also masoor dhal could be replaced with toor dhal or bengal gram. In case of bengal gram, soaking is a must before pressure cooking as it quickens the cooking process.

2. Pressure for 2-3 whistles on medium flame and let the pressure release by itself.

3. Finely chop the french beans and keep it ready.

4. Add the chopped beans to the pressure cooker containing cooked masoor dhal.

5. Add salt and mix well.

Pressure cook for 2 whistles.  Let the pressure release by itself.

6. Take a small pan and add oil for tempering. Then add mustard seeds, hing, split black gram add dried red chillies.

7. When the mustard seeds start to sputter, switch off the flame. Keep it ready.

8. In a mixer or food processor, add grated coconut or sliced coconut pieces, cumind seeds and black pepper corns.

Tip: You might add a tsp of rice soaked for 15 minutes in water along with coconut,cumin and pepper corns. Adding rice helps to thicken the stew. This is optional.

9. Grind it to a smooth paste by adding water little by little.

10. Add the ground paste to the pressure cooked masoor dhal + french beans.

Bring it to boil and simmer it for 2 minutes.

11. Finally add the tempering. Check for salt and switch off the flame.

12. Healthy French beans stew is ready. Serve it with white rice or roti varieties. Optionally top it with chopped coriander leaves.


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