Flat beans are cooked along with the pods inside it like the french beans and unlike the broad beans. These beans have fibrous strings that are to be removed before cooking them.
Broadly beans are legumes whose seeds or pods are eaten like the in regular green beans and flat beans. Then the other types that are shelled and their seeds eaten either fresh or dried.
The avarakkai or flat beans is nutritious and many side-dishes can be prepared using this. This recipe is a south Indian one where coconut,chillies and garlic is pound together and mixed with cooked beans to give a subtle flavor.
Best served as a side-dish during lunch along with rice and other curries.