Flat Beans Sabzi

Flat Beans Sabzi

Flat beans, also known as helda beans, romano beans, gavar fhali and sem ki phalli (sem beans) in some Indian states is a vegetable and a type of bean with a wide, flat edible pod.

Flat beans are normally cooked and served in their pods, as green beans. These beans are delicious and nutritious. They can be cooked with or without potatoes. Here I am sharing the one without potatoes.

They are easy to cook and requires few spices, but taste super delicious.

Although this dish is very simple yet very healthy and tasty. I had this dish firstly at my in-laws place and then I started making this at home.

Flat beans sabzi is normally served with roti (an Indian bread) or with rice (plain or steamed) and dal. I personally like this dish more with Indian bread i.e. with roti.

  Recipe Servings: 2 - 3
  Cooking time: 35 Minutes


  • Sem beans - 500 gram
  • Green chillies (each cut into 2 pieces) - 2 - 3
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash the sem beans properly with water.

  • Sem beans have hard fibrous strings which are needed to be removed before chopping them.

  • The method to remove these strings is to simply  take a bean at a time and tear the tip of the bean with hand or with a knife and pull away the string from each side in one motion.​

  • Once you remove the strings from all the sem beans, chop the beans into small pieces say 1/3" or 1/2".

  • Heat oil in a frying pan or a kadai over medium high heat. Oil should be moderately hot.

  • Add green chillies that are already cut into two pieces. Cook them for 2-3 minutes. Stir in between.

  • Now add turmeric powder and salt into it. Mix well.

  • Then add already chopped sem beans into it. Mix again and cook on a low medium flame.

  • While cooking stir periodically so that spices coat the beans all the time and benas don't get stick to the base of the pan.

  • Continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes until the flavors are melded and the flat beans are very soft and pliable.

  • Sem beans is ready to serve.

  • Serve it hot with steamed rice or jeera (cumin seeds) rice and dal or with roti (Indian Bread).