Long Beans Stir Fry / Long Beans Thoran (Payaru Thoran)

Long beans stir fry/ Long Beans thoran or Payaru Thoran (as called in Malayalam) is usually served as a side dish during sadyas (wherein wide variety of vegetarian dishes are served on a banana leaf during the festival of onam, on weddings and on special occasions in the state of Kerala) along with steamed rice and curry. 
I like this dish purely for its simplicity and how easy and quick it is to make. Thoran is a dish made regularly in my home here in US as well as back in India. Usually it is served along with rice but at home we happily eat it as a side dish with chapati or roti. You can also make thoran using french beans or even collard greens. Whenever I buy collard greens I use this recipe. Just replace the long beans with cleaned and chopped collard greens. It is a welcome change when you want something that does not usually involve the everyday spices that we use to make curries or sabjis.  
Long beans or Yard long beans are very healthy and low in calories. They are rich in dietary fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and folates. Hence long beans are very good to be included in your diet. This recipe as always was passed on to me by my dear mom. So here is the very simple yet yummy recipe of long beans thoran.
Ingredients:
2 cups yard long beans chopped 
1 onion – medium sized chopped 
3 – 4 curry leaves
1/2 cup of freshly grated coconut
1 – 2 small green chilies
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 – 2 small garlic cloves
1/2 tsp of mustard seeds 
2 tbsp of oil 
Method:
1) In a mixer grinder/blender put together coconut, garlic, cumin, green chilies and turmeric. Give it a few pulses until everything is nicely combined with the coconut. Set this aside.
2) In a non stick pan heat up oil. Once hot add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the onions and the curry leaves. Let the onions cook till translucent. 
3) Now add the coconut mixture and saute for half a minute till raw smell of garlic goes away. Now add the chopped long beans and salt to taste. Mix everything nicely. 
4) Sprinkle a little water so that the coconut doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Close the pan with a lid. Do mix in between.  And finally let it cook for 10 – 12 mins until done. 
Serve hot alongside your favorite curry and steaming hot rice. Also goes quite well with chapatis and rotis. 

Mushroom Mutter Sabji

Unlike my hubby, I like mushrooms in our indian style curries and sabjis. Many of my relatives and friends hate mushroom. I, on the other hand cannot think of any vegetable that i hate. Whenever we go grocery shopping my list includes a box of fresh cute little button mushrooms. I love incorporating them in my weekly meals in some or the other way and make my hubby eat them as well :P. Amongst the various dishes that i have tried, one of my favorite is tossing them with veggies for making stuffed omelette. Some facts, mushrooms are low calorie food and are excellent source of B vitamins and essential minerals.

Today i will be sharing an easy peasy (literally since peas are involved :P) everyday Indian side dish recipe of mushroom. 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 cup cleaned and chopped button mushrooms
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas (i used frozen)
1 onion chopped
1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp of oil
1/2 inch of cinnamon stick
1 clove
1/4th tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp of cumin powder
1 to 1 1/2 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp (or less) chili powder
1/2 tsp of garam masala
1/ tsp of crushed kasuri methi (optional)
3 tbsp of beaten yogurt/curd at room temperature (you can also use tomatoes in place of yogurt)
Water as needed

Method:
1) Heat oil in a pan. Add the cinnamon and clove and saute. The addition of these two gives a very subtle sweet taste and nice aroma. 
2) Now add the chopped onions and keep on stirring until it turns translucent and is almost on verge of turning golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and mix. Cook for few seconds until the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away. 
3) Add all the spice powders except garam masala. Saute for about 2 – 3 mins. Now reduce the flame and add the yogurt. If you are using tomatoes add them at this stage. Cook for few mins. 
4) I like the consistency of the curry to be more on the dry side to have with chapatis. You can add more water if you want more gravy. Now add the peas and mushrooms and mix everything well. Add salt to taste. Cover and cook for about 5 mins. Since i used frozen peas they take very less time to cook. If you are using fresh peas cook them in boiling water for few mins until half done and add it to the gravy or the other option is to add the peas first to the gravy let them cook and when half done add the mushrooms. If you want the gravy to be rich and thick you can also add paste of cashew nuts. 
5) Finally add the garam masala and kasuri methi and mix. Let it cook for a min. Addition of kasuri methi is optional. Garnish with cilantro/coriander leaves if desired.
Everyday mushroom mutter sabji is ready. Serve hot with phulkas/rotis or chapatis.