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Beans Nei Thuvatal/String Beans Curry

If you are wondering where that name came from….don’t ask me! Ask Chef Jacob, host of the cookery show “Aha Enna Rusi” on Sun TV :). Well, that name simply means String beans curry made with ghee(clarified butter). I started following Chef Jacob’s program recently, because his theme really attracted me. He is trying to recreate the “Sanga Kala unavu”, meaning ancient tamil cuisine. He has gone back to historic documents and tried to figure out what people ate in the olden times. Here are some fascinating facts that Chef Jacob quotes often:

  • There was no onion, garlic, tomato, green and red chilli in India before 10th century A.D.
  • Dry ginger and pepper were only used instead of chillies Onion came to India from Mexico and chillies, both green and red came to us from Northern part of Chile after 10th Century A.D.
  • Portuguese brought garlic and cloves to India.
  • The root cause for creating acidity problems in our body is onion and tomato.
  • Gingelly/Seasme oil and clarified butter were the earliest known oil medium.
  • Paratha made of the hand ground wheat flour during the 4th century was called Mandaga.


So coming back to this recipe…here’s how you go about making it. I have just tweaked it a little bit, instead of using only Channa dal powder, I replaced half of it with ‘pottukadalai/Roast gram dal/Dalia’ powder. It is a really tasty and has an unusual taste with a lot of garlic.


Beans – 2 cups(cut into 1 inch pieces)
Garlic – 8 -10 cloves
Channa dal powder – 2 tbsp
Roasted gram dal/Dalia/Pottukadalai powder – 2 tbsp
Urad Dal powder – 2 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste


  • Dry roast the channa dal and urad dal in a skillet separately until golden brown. Grind into a fine powder. Grind the Channa dal also into a fine powder.
  • Heat oil in a skillet, add the garlic cloves and fry till they are light golden brown.
  • Add the turmeric, red chilly powder and all the three powders. Fry for a minute, add the ghee and fry for 3 mins.
  • Mix in the beans and salt. Sprinkle some water and close the lid and cook on medium high heat.
  • Check once every 4-5 mins, sprinkling water when necessary. Cook until the beans are done, about 20- 25 mins.
  • Serve with rice. I like to eat just this curry mixed with the rice and a little ghee, tastes awesome!!
You might also like:

Channa Sundal – Indian Spiced Chickpeas with Coconut

Kidney Bean Biscuits – Desi Fusion

Keerai Kondakadalai Kozhambu (Chickpeas & Spinach in tamarind gravy)

Mushroom Cacciatore with Fettuccine

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