There is absolutely no one who knows Indian food better than Madhur Jaffrey. I
have three of her cookbooks that I've made splendid Indian meals from. I don't
know why I waited so long to make this particular recipe from her cookbook "An
Invitation to Indian Cooking".
It includes my favorite vegetable,
and better yet it doesn't require any exotic or hard to find spices. Whether you
enjoy it as a vegetable side dish or as a main vegetarian dish I guarantee you'll
find yourself making this delicious and easy to make Indian green bean recipe
again and again.
Madhur Jaffrey notes in her cookbook, these green beans "will be a brownish
dark green, smothered in spices and utterly delicious."
Please read my "Cooks Tips" following the recipe.
Green Beans with Onion Paste
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and coarsely
chopped 3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped A piece of fresh
ginger, about 1 inch square, coarsely chopped 1 medium-sized canned tomato,
coarsely chopped 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 10 tablespoons vegetable
oil 2 teaspoons ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon
whole cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon whole black mustard seeds (I couldn't find
black so I used yellow) Optional - 1 or 2 whole dried red peppers OR
1/2 hot fresh green chili sliced in half OR 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste) 2 teaspoons lemon juice (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped Chinese parsley (coriander/cilantro)
Wash the beans. Trim the ends. Slice
the beans into rounds about 1/8" - 1/4" thick.
Put the onion,
garlic, ginger, tomato and turmeric in a blender and blend into a smooth paste.
Put 6 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in an 8-inch skillet or heavy-bottomed
pan, and heat it on medium. Pour in mixture from blender and fry for about 5 minutes,
stirring all the time, adding a teaspoon of warm water if and when it starts to
stick to the bottom. Now put in the coriander and cumin and continue frying another
5 minutes, again adding a teaspoon of warm water if necessary to prevent sticking.
a 10-inch skillet, heat the remaining tablespoons of oil over a medium flame.
When very hot, put in the whole cumin and mustard seeds. After 10 seconds, add
the whole red peppers if you are using them. Stir once, and as the peppers darken
and the mustard seeds begin to pop, put in the sliced green beans and the sliced
green chili if you are using it. Now scrape up all the mixture from the first
skillet and add it to the beans. Fry the beans on medium flame for 5 minutes,
stirring all the time. Turn heat to low, add the salt and lemon juice, and let
the beans cook covered, stirring now and then, until they are tender (about 35
minutes). If you are using cayenne pepper, stir in 5 minutes before the end of
cooking time. If the beans stick to the skillet, add 1 tablespoon of water, stir
and keep cooking.
beans can be cooked in advance and reheated over a low flame. Serve them in a
warm dish, and if you like sprinkle finely chopped Chinese parsley over them.
Fry the mixture from the blender in a deep heavy pot to keep splatter down. Make
sure you fry the mixture well, it's essential to the overall flavor of the dish.
I think it needed a bit more lemon. I also used a lot more cilantro than called
for. It's a fabulous blast of flavor in the dish. I think the dish needed to cook
longer than 35 minutes, I'd suggest you allow 45 minutes.