Young fresh fine green beans are a joy. I’ve been looking for a recipe to show them off and I think I’ve found one. Sri Lankan Green Bean Curry is a traditional recipe, which inevitably has many versions.
I’ve used what I believe to be a traditional spice combination, which is quite an unusual one, and I’ve thickened the sauce with ground sunflower seeds to make it a little richer.
The sauce is mellow, with a sharp background hit of cloves and fenugreek.
This recipe is gluten-free.
Hope you enjoy.
SRI LANKAN GREEN BEAN CURRY
- 450gms. fine french green beans
- 2-3 tbs. water
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 4cm stick fresh ginger
- 1 large onion
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 2 tsps. cinnamon
- 10 green cardamom pods
- 0.5 – 1 tsp. chilli powder (this curry needs some heat but really shouldn’t be too hot)
- 1/4 tsp. fenugreek
- 4 cloves
- 1 – 1.5 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 30gms. sunflower seeds
- juice of 1 lime
- pinch of sugar
- 400ml. coconut milk
- 1 tbs. coconut oil
- Trim and wash green beans.
- Slice the beans into sections 3-4 cm. long. Set aside.
- Grind 30gms. sunflower seeds until fine.
- Peel and roughly chop onion.
- Peel and roughly chop ginger.
- Peel and roughly chop garlic.
- Place onion, ginger and garlic in a blender and blend until you have a smooth paste.
- Add a little water as necessary to make the blender work. ( 2-3 tbs.?)
- Bruise cardamom pods and remove seeds.
- Place cardamom seeds, cloves, fenugreek, cinnamon powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt in a grinder or pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
- In a deep-sided pan, with a tight-fitting lid, on a medium heat, place 1 tbs. coconut oil.
- When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. Let them sizzle until they pop. 30 secs. ?
- Reduce heat and add the spice mix. Cook for 1 min. until the spices are fragrant. Avoid burning.
- Add onion/garlic/ginger paste and cook gently for 10 mins.
- The sauce will reduce.
- Add ground sunflower seeds, stir to combine and cook gently for 3 mins.
- Add chopped green beans.
- Add coconut milk. Stir to combine. Bring to a very gentle simmer. Avoid boiling.
- Reduce heat to a minimum (I used a heat diffuser), cover the pan, and simmer for 20-25 mins. until the beans are perfectly tender. Don’t overcook the beans, or else they’ll become soggy …..
- Add lime juice and a pinch of sugar. Stir to combine.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve immediately with rice or flatbreads, and garnished with a dob of coconut yogurt.