green beans

summer garden palya

2nd July 2019

A palya which I have been making often, very simple, quick and based on what is in the garden at the moment; a handful of beans, small cabbages and a few small zucchinis. Feel free to change the vegetables to suit the season or availability. Great served over rice, with avocado and pickle or accompanied with a simple dal. 

summer garden palya

Preparation 30 minutes

Serves 4 

Use heaped spoon measurements.


2 cups/230g zucchinis

3 cups/170g cabbage

1 cup/150g green beans

¼ cup/60ml water

1 tsp fine rock salt

2 tsp jaggery/sugar

5 Tbsp dried shredded coconut

½ cup chopped coriander/fenugreek leaves


4 Tbsp peanut/melted coconut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp split channa dal

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 medium, mild dried red chillies, chopped

⅛ tsp hingu powder (asafoetida)

¼ tsp turmeric powder

20 fresh curry leaves

to serve


brown rice

sliced avocado

spicy pickle


1.  Chop the zucchini, cabbage and green beans into small uniformed pieces and measure the spices for the voggarane – set aside.

prepare the voggarane

2.  In a heavy-bottom skillet, over medium heat, pour in oil, add mustard seeds and channa dal; when they turn grey and the dal is golden-brown, turn down the heat, add cumin seeds, chillies, and asafoetida – fry for 30 seconds, then add the turmeric powder and curry leaves – fry for a few seconds longer.

3.  Add the vegetables, water, salt and jaggery – stir to combine, and cook uncovered on medium heat for 3 minutes – stirring regularly, then cover and cook until the vegetables have softened – 3 more minutes. 

4.  Turn off the heat and stir in the dried coconut and coriander. 

5.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes in order to cool slightly and for the flavours to be absorbed. Taste, adding more salt or jaggery, as needed.

Serve with brown rice drizzled with ghee.

moong dal sambar with green beans

29th July 2015


We have had two teachers here from India teaching the Jivana Yoga Programme which takes part two mornings on the weekends.  They inspire and guide us in the areas of asana, pranayama, Samskrta, Yogic philosophy and Yogic cooking –  but we also learn so much more by just being in their grace-filled presence.

I have enjoyed cooking with Ganapati Aarya (the more senior teacher) as he is very organised and precise, so each recipe we cook is perfected down to how much liquid or grain of salt is required. He also imparts a softness, grace and calmness in any room he enters and in everything he does. At the beginning of each week, we sit and discuss which dish we will be cooking, the benefits of that dish and then a trial of that dish the next day, before cooking it again with the class on Sunday.

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These are just a few things I have learnt in his presence –

– always simmer with the lid off to eliminate any energetic impurities which may have entered the food.

– a pinch of mustard seeds is advised to add to the voggarane to cleanse the food energetically.

– always cook in a state of calm, quiet and good feeling, which will impart the same qualities in the food you will eat and serve to others.

– when passing a knife to others, always place on the ground or table, never directly in their hand as this can create quarrelling.


moong dal sambar with green beans

When we cooked this in the class, the fresh green beans were added at the very beginning to simmer with the dal – I like to add the green beans 10 minutes before the end to keep them vital and fresh.  Any type of green bean can be used.

This dish can be made with seasonal vegetables of choice.  As a guideline, beetroot, cabbage and beans are recommended to be used by themselves, and carrot and capsicum are recommended to be combined with other vegetables.  The mixing of too many vegetables will result in an unsuitable taste when making a sambar.  Instead of the whole mung dal – moong dal split or toor dal can also be used.

This dish is good for all constitutions in all seasons and may be consumed at any time of the day.  It balances kapha, vata and pitta.  Sambar can be eaten with rice, dosa, chapati or pori. 


½ cup/100g whole moong dal 

6 cups water – divided

2½ cups/275g green beans, chopped into small uniformed pieces

1½ heaped tsp fine Himalayan rock salt

2 heaped tsp sugar/jaggery

sambar-coconut paste

2½ tsp sambar powder – moderately spiced

cup dried shredded coconut

1 tsp tamarind paste


2 tsp ghee 

½ tsp black mustard seeds

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

15 curry leaves

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

½ cup coriander leaves, chopped


1.  In a medium saucepan, wash the dāl until the water runs clear, drain and pour in 5 cups water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.

2.  Add the beans and simmer until the vegetables are soft and dāl has broken down – 30 minutes.  

3.  When the dal has softened, turn off the heat and add salt and jaggery.

prepare the sambar-coconut paste 

4.  Place in an upright blender, the dried coconut, tamarind paste, sambar powder and remaining 1 cup water. Blend into a smooth paste – 1 minute. 

5.  Add the paste to the dal.  Swish the blender clean using liquid from the dal.  


6.  In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the ghee, add mustard seeds; when they turn grey and pop, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and turmeric – fry for 1 minute, swishing the pan around for the spices to fry evenly. 

7.  Pour the voggarane into the sambar and allow to simmer for a few minutes. 

8.  Add the coriander and let to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to meld together. Taste adding more sweet, salt or sour. Serve with a drizzling of ghee.


Goodness shared by Stacey

simple yellow dal with green beans & cabbage

13th February 2010

This dal is soft, gentle and soothing.  Nothing fancy, just simple.  And I just love the colours. Cabbage is the one vegetable we have in abundance in the garden at the moment.  Did you know that after you pick the head of the cabbage, if you put a criss-cross in the top of the stem, you will have three more small cabbages growing?  How wonderful is that?


He looks more like a mystical, fairy, green creature visiting in my garden. 

a simple yellow dal with green beans & cabbage

Serves 2


½ cup toor dal (yellow lentils)

3 cups water

½ tsp turmeric powder

handful green beans/snow peas, roughly chopped

handful cabbage, sliced in chunks

1 Tbsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 whole red chilli, optional

fresh coriander

1 tsp salt


1.  Wash the toor dal in several changes of water (remember to keep this for the garden.)

2.  Combine the dal, water and turmeric in a heavy-bottomed pot (or if using a pressure cooker, for 3 whistles), simmer, uncovered until the dal has broken down and is soft.  May need to add more water.

3.  Add the beans and cabbage and simmer for 10 mins, just until they begin to soften, but are still quite firm and have retained their vibrant colour.

4.  To finish the dish, heat a little ghee/oil, add the cumin seeds and chilli – fry for about 30 seconds, then pour into the dal.

5.  Add salt to taste and finely chopped coriander. For more taste, fresh lemon juice can be added.

Because this dal is very soft and gentle in taste, it complements perfectly with the colourful and vibrant tasting of this tofu capsicum subzi.

Goodness shared by Stacey

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