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Rinse the french beans for a few times in a colander with fresh water. Drain all the water.
Remove the side strings from the beans and then chop them diagonally or in ¼ inch pieces.
Heat oil in a kadai or pan. Add the mustard seeds and urad dal.
On a low heat fry the mustard seeds and urad dal. Fry till the mustard splutters and the urad dal turns into a maroonish red. Don't burn the dal.
Add the dry red chilies, curry leaves, turmeric powder, asafoetida. Mix very well.
Now add the chopped french beans
Saute for a minute and then add ½ cup water together with the salt.
Cover the pan with a lid and simmer on a low heat until the french beans are tender and done.
Check in between while cooking. If the water dries up, you can add some more water.
Once the beans are cooked till tender and there is no water in the pan, then add the grated coconut.
Mix well. Switch off the heat.
Serve the french beans poriyal hot or warm with sambar and steamed rice.
It also tastes good when eaten with roti or paratha. You can also serve it as a side with South Indian meals or dal and rice.