Here is a recipe for Green Beans Palya - a very common South Indian side dish that is great for the end of summer, as it is Pitta pacifying. The Pitta dosha is high in the summer, so it needs to be balanced by eating foods that will counteract its energetic effects. Most vegetables are Pitta pacifying, except those that are very spicy, salty, sour, or pungent, such as green chilies, jalapenos, ginger, garlic, onion, and radishes (anything that gives you a "zing" when you bite into it). Green beans have a primarily astringent quality, which is perfect for the warm, end of summer weather. This recipe includes coconut, which is considered one of the most potent Pitta pacifying foods available, and a highly nourishing food overall.
Green Beans Palya:
1/2lb green beans, cut into 1/4 or 1/2 inch pieces
1/4c shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1-2 tbsp organic expeller-pressed high oleic sunflower oil, or avocado oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1 dried red chili, or 1 small green fresh chili
4 curry leaves
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 handful of cilantro, chopped
Heat oil in pan on medium heat
When the oil is hot, add one mustard seed to test. If it pops, add remained of mustard seeds and let them pop (be careful, may need a lid to cover the pan). Lower the heat a little after a few seconds. Add chili, then add curry leaves (rub the curry leaves between your fingers to release the aromatic oils first). You will need to cover the pan with a lid as this will splatter. Mix everything well, then add green beans. Add turmeric powder and salt. Mix well, add a few spoons of water, then cover with a lid until beans are as soft as you desire. Lastly, stir in the coconut and cover with lid for another minute so the coconut softens. Turn off the heat, stir in lemon juice and adjust to taste. Adjust salt to taste. Add chopped cilantro and stir well prior to serving. Enjoy!
Dr. Madhuri Sharma is an Integrative Family Physician. She has been fellowship trained in Integrative Medicine and strongly believes in food as medicine, as well as applying the principles of Ayurveda to our daily lifestyles to achieve optimum health. She blogs at www.cookmasalameals.com.