Green Beans Curry (vegan)
Another recipe from my neighbour, Asha, who makes such glorious food. It’s called a
“dry curry” – it’s not completely dry but there is no sauce to be mopped up. The fresh green beans still have their snap, and they end up coated in a savoury paste with spicy tomato flavour and the faintest background nuttiness from the coconut. You don’t taste or feel the desiccated coconut, so this can be served even to people who generally avoid the texture of coconut, and it just adds the extra nutrition and slight creaminess. I like to serve it with a dhal or other quite liquid dish for contrast.
I’ve never seen this recipe in a restaurant, so I don’t know exactly where it came from. I’ve seen a Sri Lankan green bean curry that uses coconut milk but that’s a lot more sauced than this version. If anyone knows any more about it, please let me know – I’d be interested to hear.
You can of course add other things to the basic vegan dish – cubed paneer or leftover cooked chicken are lovely mixed into the beans.
Serves 4 as a main dish alongside Makhani Dhal or other Dhal dish Timings: 45 minutes
Ground spices: 2 teaspoons turmeric, 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 2 teaspoons garam masala
Whole spices: 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
Top and tail the French beans and if they are thicker than a pencil, slice them down the middle to make thinner slices – you are cooking them quite quickly so they need to be thin.
Put the beans, the ground spices, coconut, ginger and tomato puree into a microwave bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of water and cook on full power for 6 minutes. You can of course cook them in a pan with only a small amount of water – you are looking to steam the beans quite lightly. When finished cooking, leave them in their pan until the next stage.
In a large frying pan, fry the onion in a little oil until transparent. You don’t want it to brown, so keep stirring and don’t heat too much. Add the potato cubes and continue stirring to warm them through. Add the whole spices and cook to release the flavours.
Tip the beans and any liquid they have into the pan and turn up the heat a bit. Stir through and cook finally for another 2-3 minutes.
Adjust the seasoning – it will need salt and pepper and add the lemon juice.
Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander.
A Hug from the Kitchen
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