There’s nothing better than a simple easy poriyal or dry curry to accompany sambar and rice, along with fried appalams, of course, and is my favourite meal combination. This recipe is for one such poriyal, a purple beans curry.
Of course, like most purple vegetables and herbs, once the beans feel the heat while cooking, they quickly turn a dull green, just like your regular green beans. But it was fun while it lasted! I find the purple beans to be sweeter than green beans, maybe even a little earthier. Perhaps that is because I cook them for as less a time as possible, taking them off the stove as soon as the beans are done, or perhaps the beans themselves taste better than regular green French beans.
A garnish of fresh grated coconut enhances the flavours of the purple beans curry. Turmeric adds to the flavour and health quotient.
I use sesame oil in this dish, and the nutty taste goes well with the mustard and fenugreek used to temper the curry.
Nutrition and health benefits:
Purple vegetables are rich in anthocyanins, which are a type of phytonutrient, or plant compound, said to have potential disease-fighting benefits. Some studies have suggested that anthocyanins could help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. There is some indication that these purple pigments might reduce the effects of ageing, on the brain.
Beans, even otherwise, are a good source for protein, and little or no fat and are free from cholesterol. They have a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Research suggests that the soluble fibre in beans can help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Sesame oil, which is extracted from sesame seeds, is known to have been in use since the Indus Valley Civilization. It is said to provide a gamut of health benefits such as for better hair and skin health, aiding in strong bone growth, reducing blood pressure, as well as helping in treatment of anxiety and depression. The oil is said to improve health in infants, improve the digestive process, and reduce inflammation. Studies published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, say that “Sesame oil as edible oil, lowers blood pressure decreases lipid peroxidation, and increases antioxidant status in hypertensive patients.” It is strong in unsaturated fats, which may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Sesame oil also has the organic compound, phytate, which has been linked by some studies directly to a reduction the development of cancer cells. It is believed that the high levels of magnesium as well as its calcium content, can lead to reduction in the onset of colorectal cancer.
Apart from the great nutritional value, this purple beans curry is just easy to make and totally delicious. The recipe may be easily used with regular green beans.