Beans Mezhukupuratti |Sauteed String beans with caramalized onions

I wish I could schedule posts to appear at regular intervals while I am busy at work or sleep or whatever, but it is just not me! I find the process a little too robotic. How would you like it if your life were like this – “8:00am, 8:00am – time to go, time to go”, and a machine yanks you out of your bed and thrusts you out of the house – I don’t like the idea of my posts appearing like that without any former styling or dressing up. So here I am, with fewer posts but hopefully good enough to keep your sights trained.

Today’s dish is again to do with memories. I have so many of them cluttering up my brain sometimes it is a wonder that I live in the present.

I have a close girl friend – B – who was a confidante and whose family soon adopted me as a fourth daughter! After marriage B left India and our ways parted until recently, when I met her accidentally in Colaba Causeway, where I was shopping with a friend for trinkets. We did communicate before, though infrequently via emails but meeting her there, unexpectedly, after a long time, reminded me that it was ages since I had bonded with my adopted family. Last weekend I made the long trip downtown to spend a memorable evening with B’s Mother treating me to tasy pazhamporis as we chatted animatedly. Today’s dish is what I tasted first at B’s house as a weekend boarder during my hostel days. I used to request Aunty to cook it quite often and love this better than the general beans poduthuval.

During the rains we get juicy, tender string beans. This dish tastes best made at this time.

Mezhukupuratti or mezhukuvaratti is the Kerala / Palakkad term that refers to a method of cooking that basically includes ‘sauteed vegetables and legumes’ in oil. When made with vegetables they look as good as they taste but when made with legumes, I find that the sight isn’t as good as the taste – any ideas on how I could make them look more appealing?

Recipe: Beans mezhukupurrati | Caramalised onions with beans
Serves: 3 hearty eaters
Serving suggestion: Complements Sambar, Rasam and MorkootanΒ 


1/2kg string beans slit along the length and then chopped into inch long pieces
Onions, sliced thin – 4 small ones
Oil, preferably coconut oil – 1tbsp + 1tsp.
Salt to taste – 1/2 + 1/2


Wash and chop beans as above.

Heat a tbsp. of oil and when hot add the sliced onions and cook on slow fire till they are caramalized evenly.

Add the chopped beans and half the salt. Mix well and cook, stirring occasionally. Cover after 2 minutes and cook further. I like them slightly crunchy and not too soft. If you like them softer, just cook a little more. Generally tender beans cook well in their own juice which is let out when salt is added. If the beans are not tender you may have to add about a quarter cup of water to help them cook.

Add a tsp. of oil if the beans stick to the pan. If you have been stirring regularly the beans will not stick but in case they do, the oil will help them to un-glue and also add a sheen if you need to photograph them later. πŸ™‚


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • Aruna Ram

    so this new to me mezhukkuperatti with beans …we usually make chenai,vazhakkai and brinjal we add onions to this dish?

    • Harini

      This is how the Christian Community of Kerala make beans mezhukkuperatti, Aruna. Yes, the onions form an important part and need to be caramalized for best results. I have also posted the mezhukkuvaratti you refer to.

  • Red Chillies

    Beautiful pictures Harini, loved the picture of beans in the basket. Looks so professional.

  • Aparna

    This has to be my favourite mezhukkupuratti (after yard long beans).
    What I cannot get over is how beautiful they look in your picture.
    Think I should come over for some classes in photography. πŸ™‚

  • Sunshinemom

    Jennidy, as a matter of fact your instincts were bang on! In fact shallots are more traditional than the onions I used and the original preparation does not use cumin seeds:). I am glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for your feedback:)

  • Jennidy

    Just had this for dinner with some dahl makhni. Very tasty! I used some shallots mixed in with the onion since I had some that needed to be cooked. I used the optional cumin and added just a pinch of hing. I'm not sure my adaptions were traditional but this was delicious!

  • Sunshinemom

    Sharmilee, I am so sorry! I just assumed because of the name:). Sharmilee in Hindi means 'shy'. What I said was do not shy away from my blog and do keep visiting:D

    Madhuram, karamani version tastes great! My MIL makes this dish with that.

  • Madhuram

    It's been a while since I visited my favorite blogs and here I am starting with yours.

    Like Nags, I too love the picture of beans in the basket. I think I'm going to try this with the long beans (kaaramani). Here we get that it in very big bunches and I'm bored cooking the regular poriyal and kootu.

  • Sushma Mallya

    Simple yet delicious crunchy dish…lovely click too…

  • Yasmeen

    love the click of fresh green beans.Simple saute is truly best tasting πŸ˜€

  • Sharmilee! :)

    I dont knw hindi πŸ™ what does this mean : aage se bilkul matt sharmana hamare yahan aane ke liye! Anyways thanks for dropping by…:)

  • Shri

    I love green beans AND your pic:)

  • Shwetha


    I just saw these in the market today and although we don't make it traditionally at home I was tempted to buy some. Well now I know a simple and delicious way to cook these beans. Thanks!

  • Sharmilee! :)

    First time here, completely luv ur clicks!

  • Ramya Kiran

    Your clicks are making me hungry! Looks delicious!!

  • s

    such pretty pictures..the napkin/cloth under the bowl is so lovely!

  • Sanghi

    Lovely simple recipe..! Looks delicious!

  • Veggie Belly

    your pictures are beautiful, especially the fresh beans πŸ™‚

  • Sireesha

    Happy Dussehra to you and your Family.
    Sauteed String beans looks divine:)

  • anubhavati

    Hey Harini,

    we make mezhukkuperatti…only we dont add onions…only pure unadulterated coconut oil and veggie…my all time fvourite has been Vazhakkai, Chenai and Koorkai Mezhukkuperatti.



  • Sunshinemom

    Thanks everyone.

    Parita, I am using Canon EOS 350D and sigma lens 70-300mm.

    Preeti, I too use coconut oil with the other mezhuvarattis but I make beans with sunflower or til oil. BTW, I love the aroma of coconut oil:).

    Soma, I have been watching myself saying it over and over again for the last five minutes and smiling:D

  • Soma

    And that name almost sounded Greek to me.. no kidding! Beautiful pictures esp. of the fresh beans:-)

  • Preeti Kashyap

    happy dassera to you too! Lovely pics!I like all kinds of mezhuku puratti- simple and tasty! I use coconut oil for them tho!

  • Happy cook

    Reminds me of lunch box as this is one dish we had a lot.
    I love meshukupurati. I can eat them just like that. Beautiful pic.

  • ?peachkins?

    I love string beans!This is a good recipe..

  • Parita

    Ah simplicity at its best, na? i love lightly sauteed veggies and beans is one of them, pics are gorgeous and very inviting, mind if i ask which slr are you using?

  • Nags

    i LOVE the pic of the beans in the basket πŸ™‚

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