• Beans throan (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns

With a tropical twist and spicy kick, this Indian throw-together makes for an ideal side to your favourite curry.






Skill level

Average: 4 (21 votes)

"The lightness and freshness of this dish makes it absolutely sing with flavour and crunch - green beans and freshly grated coconut - what a match made in heaven! Chef Daisy Rajan says this makes a terrific, quick weeknight meal with rice or naan - or it can be a delicious component of a larger Indian banquet. Curry leaf plants grow well in pots if you love cooking South Indian food but the leaves can also be stored in the freezer ready for use." Maeve O'Meara, Food Safari Earth


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds  
  • 1 small brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, roughly crushed
  • 12-15 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp white urad dal (black split lentils with outer husk removed)
  • salt, to taste
  • 500 g French green beans, washed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp chilli powder, or more to taste
  • 100 g finely grated fresh coconut

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Serves 4 as a side dish

Heat the oil in a clay chatti/kadhai or wok over high heat. Add the mustard seeds and as soon as they start to pop and crack, add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are golden and starting to caramelise. Add the curry leaves and urad dal. Continue to cook, stirring, for another couple of minutes or until the dal is toasted. 

Add the beans and cook, stirring often for 5-10 minutes or until the beans are cooked to your liking. Season with salt to taste. Add the chilli powder and most of the grated coconut and stir well. Serve scattered with the remaining with grated coconut.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Emma Warren. Creative concept by Belinda So.

Brand-new series Food Safari Earth airs Thursdays at 8pm on SBS then on SBS On Demand. For recipes and more visit the program site right here.