Cluster beans with spices in coconut milk

This is a southern Indian specialty. I had only cooked a variation of this until now. The consistency of this is like saambhar unlike the Kootu I am used to with a similar recipe. The only difference being I add a Tbsp. of shredded coconut to the toasted ingredients used for grinding and do not use coconut milk.


  • 1/2 pound, cluster beans
  • 2 tsps. saambhar powder (if you do not have this home made, it is easily available at Indian stores or even at regular grocery stores called curry powder).
  • 1 cup toor dhal
  • 1 tsp. whole black pepper
  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 1.5 Tbsp. urad dhal
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • Oil to roast ingredients
  • Salt to taste


Chop beans about 1/2" long. Sauté them lightly with a 1/2 tsp of oil in a pan. Add water and cook them with 1/2 tsp. of turmeric powder. Set aside.

Next roast the black pepper, chillies and 1 Tbsp of urad dhal or grind them to a fine paste. If you have a dry grinder, you may powder them without water. Both are acceptable.

Pressure cook the toor dhal and mix with the cooked beans. Let them keep cooking on low heat for 5 minutes. Add the ground ingredients and salt to taste. After 5 minutes of cooking the ingredients in medium to low heat, add the coconut milk. Mix wel. Cook for another couple minutes. The saambhar should be done. You may add water if the consistency is too thick.

Garnish with roasted mustard seeds and urad dhal just like any other vegetable preparation. Add a few curry leaves to top it off. Serve with rice.

^ Please contact me for any of these ingredients or utensils.

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