Beans bassaru - Lentils and beans curry and stir fry

By Reshma Seetharam. Beans bassaru, is a red curry made from cooked lentil and vegetable broth. One super healthy curry! It can be made from a combination of lentils and vegetables or greens. I have posted some combinations at the end. In this recipe, I have used, fresh green beans and yellow lentils/dal.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

Yield: serves 4
1 cup yellow lentils/thogri bele/toor dal
4 cups green beans, cleaned, tips cut off and chopped into two inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh coconut (optional)
Salt to taste

Masala to grind:
2 tsp curry powder
1 medium tomato
1 cup fresh cilantro (coriander)
2-3 medium sized garlic petals
¼ tsp tamarind paste or ¼ inch fresh cleaned tamarind
1 small charred/burnt onion  (cut into two, keep on direct flame or electric coil, so its charred)

Curry tempering:
1 tsp oil/ghee
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp hing
A sprig of curry leaves
2 or 3 whole red chilies

Beans tempering:
1 small onion cut lengthwise
½ tsp each- uddina bele (urad dal) and kadale bele (channa dal)
Red pepper flakes/whole red chilies, a few. Salt to taste.

In a bowl, place grated coconut, add a cup of hot water; set aside.

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a thick bottom skillet/cooker pan. Add washed dal, and cook on medium for about 10-12 minutes. The dal will begin to crack on the sides, with a firm center, add the chopped beans. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt; cook for 5 minutes. The beans should be crunchy, not soft. Turn off the heat.

Invert the water mixture on to a colander, and store the drained water. Let the beans and lentils cool. Take a cup of cooked beans and dal, add it n a blender along with the grinding ingredients mentioned above. Grind to a paste, use the drained lentil water to make it to a smooth paste. Temper it with mustard, cumin seeds, red chilies, curry leaves and hing in ghee or hot oil. Squeeze out the coconut milk; pour it into the curry. Reserve the coconut flakes for the vegetable stir-fry/palya

For the boiled beans and lentils, they can be eaten as is, or tempered with some onions, red pepper flakes or whole red chilies, kadale and uddina bele (again dals). Don't forget to add some more salt!Sprinkle coconut flakes. Stir; serve the curry and vegetable palya/stir-fry with ragi mudhe, ragi idlis or rice. Enjoy!

Here are some combinations you can make the curry with. Basic recipe stays the same, Boil the lentils and vegetables in enough water, strain out and separate the cooked vegetables and water, use the vegetables as a side dish, and the water to grind with the curry ingredients.

Green beans and thogri bele (toor dal)
Hesarkaalu (green dal) alone, or with cabbage
Dhantu soppu ( Amarnath leaves or chinese red leaf greens)