B76D1E9C-404E-4606-85A6-50D79335AFAAGreens, I adore them, they’re tasty the way we Indians make them, and so healthy. I ate a dish similar to this one at a restaurant and it tasted good, so when I found the recipe in Madhur Jaffrey’s 100 Essential Curries, I was smitten.

Now, who hasn’t heard of Madhur Jaffrey? The queen of Indian curries. She is an actress par excellence and a chef who put India on the global food map as early as the 70s and 80s when she travelled all over India shooting TV cookery shows for British television. She’s written a whole bunch of cookery books too.

The dish is refreshing and easy to make. Here is the recipe.

Green beans with fresh coconut and sesame seeds

Serves 4


50 gms (2oz) freshly grated coconut (about 8 tbsps)

4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh green coriander, or parsley.

Generous pinch of asafoetida (optional)

1/2 to 1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

450 gms (1 lb) fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2.5 cms (1 in) lengths

6 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 teaspoon whole black mustard seeds

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( optional)


1 Combine the coconut, coriander, asafoetida, green chilli and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Rub the mixture well with  your hands. Set aside.

2 Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to 2 litres (3 1/2 pints) water and bring to a boil in a large pot. Add the cut beans. Boil rapidly for 3 to 4 minutes or until beans are tender, but still bright green and crisp. Drain in a colander and refresh by moving the colander under cold running water. Set aside.

3 Heat the ghee or oil in a 25 to 30 cms (10 to 12 in) wide sauté pan or heavy pot over a medium heat. When hot, put in the sesame and mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop add the cayenne pepper. Stir once and add the beans. Sauté the beans over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until they are heated through and well coated with the seeds. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir. Now add the coconut- coriander mixture, stir once and remove from the heat. Serve immediately.

I didn’t add the cayenne pepper or the green chilli, and added a nice pinch of asafoetida, and the dish turned out delicious.

I have adjusted the amount of salt and mustard seeds in the recipe and adapted it from the original as on 17th March 2018.





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