Posts tagged ‘Green bean’

August 24, 2011

Stir-Fried Green Beans with Coconut

This almost seems like cheating as a recipe because though it has a lot of ingredients to give it flavor it’s so, so simple. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about coconut as a flavor in savory foods. But what I liked about this dish was that the coconut lended an really interesting texture as much as flavor. This dish managed to taste fresh, as well as a little smoky and had a lovely exotic flair from the coconut. This was equally as good cold as it was warm. You also can use this cooking method with nearly any vegetable of your choice.

Stir-Fried Green Beans with Coconut

1 1lb chopped green beans (small)

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon red chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

6-8 dried curry leaves (you can use fresh)

1 cry red chili

1 tablespoon urad Dahl (lentils, for texture)

1 tablespoon chang Dahl(different sized lentils, for texture)

2 teaspoons black mustard seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 tablespoons oil for frying

1/2-3/4 cup unsweetened coconut

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium/high heat. Add the dried red chili, urad dahl, chang dahl, curry leaves,  black mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cook until the cumin seeds pop. Add the chopped green beans to the pan and sprinkle with the turmeric, chili powder and salt.

Stir through the spices and then add coconut. Stir all of this together and then cover and cook until the beans reach desired doneness. I like mine crunchy so it didn’t take long at all, 7-10 minutes. If you want them softer you will probably have to add 1/4 cup water during the cooking process so the spices and coconut don’t stick to the pan.

August 2, 2011

Manchurian Green Beans

Despite the name, Shiva insists that this spicy, savory green bean dish is uniquely Indian and certainly Asia and India share several culinary roots. Regardless of who invented it, this dish was a delightful surprise.

I worried that the beans were going to be oily, overcooked and drowned in sauce. Not so my friends, not so.  And even though everything on the plate was delicious, it was the beans that I wanted to eat the entire pot of. However, there were guests and I would have had to fight Shiva for the beans, which frankly seemed rude. He is, after all, not only teaching me Indian cuisine, but hosting these affairs, so I just had a normal portion. Twice.

Manchurian Beans

1/2 red onion, diced

2 pounds green beans

2 green chilies, minced (we used small Thai chilies)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro


2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce (to taste)

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic paste

1 tablespoon ginger paste

1 teaspoon sriracha

1 1/2 tablespoons evaporated cane sugar

1-1/2 cup water

Sauce Thickener

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons water

Combine all the sauce ingredients, soy, ginger, garlic, sugar, chili-garlic paste, and sriracha into a bowl mix until the sugar has dissolved. Then pour into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow sauce to simmer for 3-5 minutes until it begins to thicken slightly. Add water and bring back to a boil and simmer for another 3-5 minutes.

In the mean time, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a pan and add the red onion and the chilies. Fry the onions until soft but not brown.

In a separate pan, sauté green beans in 1 tablespoon oil until done, but still crisp. About 5 minutes. Add the onions and chilies and stir. Add Manchurian grave/sauce and the flour/ water mixture and stir until the sauce thickens. As soon as that happens, about 1 minute, pull from heat, stir in cilantro and serve.

July 6, 2011

Coconut Shrimp Curry with Cumin Green Beans

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Coconut curries in my experience have been sweet, viscous, strangely oily sauces with little or no heat from spice, adorned with some sort of meat floating in it over rice. In other words not so appetizing. Not so any longer! This was clean, fresh, warm with just a hint of tropical and easy to make, around 20 minutes. This dish packed a lot of flavor while remaining quite light.

Step one:

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 dried red peppers (we used arbol)

Put the spices and the vinegar in a bowl together to soak while prepping the rest of the delightful dish.

1 large red onion (any onion will do) chopped and fried with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil until quite brown. To this add a whole garam masala mix which is always bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves and green cardamon seeds. We used 1 large bay leaf, 1 cinnamon stick, 5 cloves, and 3 cracked green cardamom pods.

Also needed:

1 lb shrimp, cleaned and deveined, we actually had to use frozen raw shrimp because the fresh didn’t look so hot, and it was fine

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 tablespoon fresh garlic (or paste)

1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger (or paste)

1 tomato, chopped (if not available use 1/3 cup yogurt)

3/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

When the onions are done, remove the whole spices and put the onions into a food processor with the vinegar spice mix from above, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, garlic and ginger paste, three raw shrimp, and blend.

Add tomato to this not quite smooth paste and blend again, adding water if necessary until this consistency:

Take this paste and put it into a pan and cook it until almost dry.

Add 2 cups water and shrimp.

Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Add the final touch, 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves, stir in and serve immediately over rice.


Cumin Green Beans

1 lb green beans snapped in half

1 teaspoon asafoetida (a spice derived from a species of giant fennel, it has a really great and unique flavor)

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Heat oil in pan a roast the turmeric, cumin seeds and asafoetida until seeds begin to pop add green beans and salt and cover until cooked, stirring often. When beans are almost done, remove cover and cook off liquid.

October 12, 2010

Pickling the Web

Having never pickled before I was absolutely intrigued when I came across Kitchen Konfindence’s for Kosher Dill Pickles. He also had never pickled and said that when he came across David Lebovitz’s recipe he couldn’t believe how easy it was. That may or may not be an overused phrase by us food bloggers, we seem to think that ‘easy’ is a great way to get people to try things, but before I tried this recipe I did think that pickling was a much more complicated process than it is.

This recipe tells you, once the cucumbers are in their brine and spices just to put your jars on a shelf covered with cheesecloth for 3-6 days and then to put them on the fridge. I was most nervous about this because the brine in this recipe is just salt water with spices, no vinegar, and as a person raised in a world of preservatives this made me feel that this combination wasn’t going to be enough for ‘preserve’ the pickles. Then I kicked myself in the shins because cultures have been making pickled lots of things for almost as long as civilization has been around, it is believed that the Mesopotamians pickled as early as 2400 BC and somehow everyone didn’t die off from food poisoning.


Pickled and Ready to Eat


Everything went perfectly and these pickles were delicious. However, though billed as dill, mine came out tasting more like new pickles, they had a lovely salty slightly dill flavor rather what I was expecting which was very dilly and less salty. They were delicious and I will make them again.

Once I realized just how easy pickling is, I went on a pickling jag. I helped a friend with her garden this summer and though her tomato plants are currently confused and are still trying to flower, the fruits still on the plants are not all that interested in ripening. So we stripped the bushes of the green fruits and made pickled green tomatoes.

Using the same basic pickling recipe I also pickled a mixture of purple, yellow and green beans. I did start to freak out when I noticed that some of the garlic in the brine had started to turn blue but this as it turns out is something that happens to garlic sometimes during pickling due to the fact that garlic contains anthocyanin, a water soluble pigment that under acid conditions may turn blue or purple. I do think it is interesting that this did not happen with just the salt brine. The recipe that I used for both the green tomatoes and the green beans was Tara’s from Tea and Cookies. The only adjustments that I made was that in addition to the pickling spices, I added a healthy dose of red pepper flakes and lots of blue garlic. The green beans turned out crispy, fresh and with just enough sting, the tomatoes turned out a little weird, I can’t decide if I like them. I am however, going to take Tara’s suggestion and just start grabbing things at the farmers market and pickling them because honestly, what’s better than pickled produce?

%d bloggers like this: