Friday, March 16, 2012

French Beans Pulao

I have been filled with sorrow since yesterday.  A bus load of children, after having spent a week of skiing, were returning home and the bus crashed just some kilometers after leaving.  The crash left 28 dead or which 22 were children in the age group of 11 to 12 years.  When I read about this, it felt too close to home.  My son has been on a skiing trip with the same company.  My daughter has registered to leave for a skiing trip next winter with school.  It could have been them. 

My heart goes out to those parents.  They must have gone to bed excited on seeing their lovely children the next morning after being away from them for a week.  And they are woken up in the middle of the night with news about the accident.  Worse still, they do not know if their children are among the 28 dead or the 24 still alive.  It is really a 50-50 gamble fate is playing with them and they have to wait a few more hours before they know if their children were the lucky ones to survive.  I try to put myself in their shoes – relief in that instance that your child has made it and sad at the same time seeing the other set of parents who might have lost the apple of their eyes.  I have kept the children and parents in my prayers today – strength to those who have lost a loved one and a new beginning to those who have been granted a second chance.  Make use of this chance – don’t blow it off.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6


2 cups basmati rice
4 cups French beans (stringed and chopped)
½ teaspoon tamarind concentrate
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons coconut gratings
2 tablespoons corn oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon cashew nuts (broken)
1 tablespoon peanuts or groundnuts
1 tablespoon Gram dal (chana dal)
1 tablespoon Split Gram dal (urad dal)
A pinch of asafetida
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
A few curry leaves


  1. Boil rice in water with salt and when ¾ done, drain the water in a colander and keep the rice aside. 
  2. Boil the beans in water for 10 minutes with salt, drain and keep aside. 
  3. Heat oil in a vessel. When hot, add the mustard seeds. 
  4. When they splutter, add the dals and the cashew and peanuts. 
  5. When these turn light brown, add the curry leaves, asafetida and turmeric. 
  6. Add the beans and saut√© for 3 minutes. 
  7. Now add the tamarind concentrate, salt and coconut gratings and mix well. 
  8. Finally add the rice and stir well and cover and cook on low flame for 20 minutes. Serve with plain yoghurt.


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