Friday 1 April 2011

Beans and Potato stir fry

I know, it has been a long gap again. I know I promised myself and my readers that I will post more regularly. I know I keep going back on this promise. But what can I say – life does that to you. Things have been really hectic (as if they weren't before)! I am now juggling a job in addition to the ‘normal’ things – raising a 3 (almost 4) year old, managing everything else that comes as a package with a house (read cooking, cleaning, washing etc) and not to forget the Birthday parties.

Birthday parties – now thats something I have to talk about in this post. The main reason being that we attend so many of them. I dont know what is more exciting for Shreya, the idea of going to a party, meeting all her friends, seeing the Birthday cake, giving the Birthday present or getting a return gift. I am sure its not eating party food, not even the Birthday cake. While she gets excited when it is being cut & exclaims on the ‘prettiness’ of it, she hardly eats it. The same goes for almost every kid. They are excited but there is no specific reason or thing that they are excited about. Ask them and you will get a different answer each time, ranging from ‘playing with friends’ to ‘getting the return gift’.

I would really like to know how and why the idea of return gift came to be associated with kids’ Birthday parties. Was it devised so that the other kids dont feel left out as the Birthday kid was getting lots of gifts? Was it to make sure that the Birthday kid appreciates that his/her friends made the effort to come to the party? Whatever the reason might be, the kids look forward to this almost more than the party itself. It doesnt matter what you give them. It can be as little as a goodie bag filled with insignificant (by adults standard!) things such as a chocolate, a key chain, plastic bangles/bracelet, stickers, a tiny toy etc or it could be a large box neatly gift wrapped just like the birthday present they had got for the Birthday boy/girl. The kids are just happy to get ‘something’. It has become so much of a norm that S expects a return gift everytime she goes out to someone’s house even for get together and it becomes difficult to explain to her that grown ups dont exchange gifts or return gifts with the same fervour!

So there we are, seems like I have come up with a brand new excuse for not posting regularly here. Yeah, blame it on the kids! But today I am posting a recipe and a fairly simple one at that. This is a regular part of our meal and gets ready in no time.


Beans and Potato Stir fry

Picture 158


Serves 2


  • 2 cups String Beans (French Beans), chopped
  • 1 medium sized Potato, small cubes
  • 1/2 tblsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 6-8 Curry Leaves
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 medium Tomato, chopped (Optional)
  • 1-2 tsp Goda Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • Salt


Heat the oil in a pan. Once hot add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter.

Add the Curry leaves, asafoetida and the Turmeric Powder followed by the potato cubes. Fry for about 2-3 minutes.

Now add the chopped beans and mix well. Sauté for about 2 minutes.

Next, add in the tomatoes along with the salt, Goda Masala and the chilli powder. Mix well to coat the beans and potato with the spices.

Reduce the flame, cover the pan and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes. Keep stirring in between to avoid burning. Switch off the heat once the potato & beans are completely cooked. Serve hot with Chapati.

My Notes: This is a dry preparation and cooks in its own steam, also the tomatoes let out water and that helps. However if you dont add tomatoes, you might have to sprinkle some water to prevent the ‘sabji’ sticking to the pan.

If you dont have Goda Masala, you can use any other spices such as Garam Masala, a mixture of Dhaniya-Jeera Powder (Coriander-Cumin powder), sambhar powder etc. It will work well with any of these with a change in the taste of course.

This is a favourite for lunch box, since it is a dry sabji and tastes good even when its not piping hot!

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