Yard-long beans


Yesterday at work, a psychologist in the department stopped me to ask, 'Excuse me, but are you Indian?' Now I know that's a perfectly reasonable question, but it never ceases to amuse me. I can't get my egomaniacal head around the fact that there might be people who can't recognize my nationality, or just don't want to assume. Anyway, I said yes, and she offered me a bagful of yard-long beans that grow in her backyard.



You can make this quick stir fry with french beans, or any other beans that you have growing around. 🙂


2 cups beans, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1 tbsp oil

1 dried red chilli

1 tbsp grated coconut (fresh/frozen/dried)

1 tbsp mustard seeds/cumin seeds

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp lime juice

– Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the cumin/mustard seeds, red chilli, turmeric, and coconut, in that order. Saute for a few seconds and add the beans. Season with salt and pepper.

– Turn the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for five-eight minutes, stirring the beans around once or twice. Add the lime juice in the end and serve. If the beans get too dry/start to stick during cooking, sprinkle a spoonful of water.


We had these with flatbreads, but they are great with rice/served on toast.

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About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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13 Responses to Yard-long beans

  1. Emjay says:

    YUM! This looks and sounds great! I don't like guessing what nationality people are – there are too many people around who do actually get offended if the guess is wrong. I ask my taxi drivers "where are you originally from…" although I mentally guess before I ask.

  2. Looks nice! I'm with Emjay on the nationality guessing. I know how offended New Zealanders get abotu being mistaken for Australians, Canadians for US Americans etc so would be worried about offending someone who was Sri Lankan or Bangladeshi etc by assuming they were Indian. (We have the whole sub-continent in my office!).

  3. Karen Lynn says:

    I've never heard of yard long beans before! You are Indian, eh? lolPS: Savita loved the mango pickles :))

  4. t says:

    Can I just say…this is like the 1000th recipe of yours that has gone in my "to try" file? Nom nom nom nom.

  5. Pk says:

    There is a woman in my psych class who looks like she could be the twin to Dr. Padman (from India ..shortened name because I can't remember how to spell full name) however …she's not from India …she's from Pakistan …she LOOKS like she's from India, SOUNDS like she's from India ..but she's Pakistani.
    She doesn't understand why people think she's from India, but she says even people from India think she's from India.
    I was teasing her and asked her if she's looked at her passport to be sure. She said no, but she's looked in the mirror. ;o) (love this lady!) She's in my psych class, but teaches biology I may be taking it from her just cause I love listening to her accent.

  6. Why would she think only Indians would appreciate yard long beans? My parents grew them in their backyard (but didn't call them backyard long beans, harharhar) and they were delicious, even when my mother drowned them in soy sauce. (Sorry about the bad pun.)I'll have to try the recipe. I think bean season is almost done out here (;_;) so I might not see them at the farmers' market anymore. But the grocery stores are full of California-grown beans. Yum!

  7. Purplesque says:

    I completely agree, I don't do it myself, but how dare anybody not know that I'm Indian? Lmao..its a twitch that won't go away.

  8. Purplesque says:

    Ha ha, yes, I don't particularly like being called Pakistani, though it doesn't hurt my feelings. (Okay, it does, a little bit.) I'd much rather people ask, and I ask myself.

  9. Purplesque says:

    Who is Savita? Did you like them? Did your DH like them? I'm all curious..

  10. Purplesque says:

    Lol. I can't tell Indians and Pakistanis apart myself most of the time, unless they open their mouth to speak in the native language. Then I can usually tell. Even though I come from a part of India where a lot of Urdu is spoken, there are different word preferences.

  11. Purplesque says:

    I guess somebody told her they were Indian. I've certainly seen beans used in all kind of Asian/non-Asian recipes as well.

  12. Karen Lynn says:

    We did not care for them, but Savita said she LOVES them so I had DH take them in for her. I saw her yesterday at the office and she was sooo excited! (she is one of our dentists, she's from India)

  13. I've never seen a more interesting yard-long bean dish. Give me some of that please! I also love the bowl you put your food in.

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