Green beans are healthy, delicious and chock full of vitamins. They are high in fiber and low in calories and fat. This particular recipe is a wonderful introduction to Indian food, it is mildly spiced but full of flavor. This dish is eaten throughout the southern half of India and makes a wonderful addition to any Indian meal.
This basic recipe can be used for virtually any vegetable or combination of vegetables such as potatoes, peas, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, okra…
A quick shortcut is to use frozen French green beans straight out of the freezer. This will save you a lot of time and this dish will be ready in a snap. It's a great dish for those last minute dinner guests.
GREEN BEANS BHAJI (Indian Style Green Beans)
1½ lbs fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into ¼” pieces
1 tbsp split white lentils (split urad dal)
3 tbsp split yellow peas (split chana dal)
3-4 dried red chilies, to taste
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
6-8 fresh curry leaves
pinch of asafetida (hing)
1 tsp turmeric
½ cup freshly grated coconut (frozen is fine)
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tbsp oil, vegetable or canola
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
Soak the chana dal in just enough water to cover, let sit for 30 minutes. Drain well before use.
In a deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, carefully add the black mustard seeds. When the splattering stops, reduce the heat to medium low and add the cumin seeds first followed by the split urad dal. After 30 seconds, carefully add the (very well drained) chana dal. After a few more seconds, add the dried red chilies along with the curry leaves, asafetida and turmeric. Stir and let cook for another minute or so before adding the green beans. Season with salt & pepper. Stir well to coat the green beans in all of the spices. Then add ½ cup or so of water, cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes until the beans are just tender. If you are using frozen green beans, add only ¼ cup of water. Add the grated coconut and mix well. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and serve with fresh chapatis and fragrant Basmati rice.