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This time of year I have plenty of garden fresh beans, and am always looking for easy recipes for beans, like this recipe for Coconut Green Beans.
Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables, and I think they taste delicious just steamed for a few minutes. My husband, on the other hand, is not as big a fan. If I want to serve green beans more than every couple of weeks I have to be more creative!
After all, preparing vegetables the same way all the time can make for some pretty boring meals. When I was in college I had a roommate from India, and she taught me some different ways of preparing vegetables that make them much more interesting to eat. This is one of my favorite easy recipes for green beans, because it is relatively simple, yet gives them a unique taste and texture.
The dish is flavored by heating oil and popping black mustard seeds in it, which is a standard technique in Southern Indian cooking. Black mustard seeds aren’t spicy, and they give a nutty taste to the beans. Then steamed beans are stir fried with unsweetened coconut which adds a nice deep taste to the recipe. You can’t really substitute sweetened coconut though, since it will make the dish too sweet! Unsweetened coconut is available in many health food stores, or you can mail order it.
- ½ lb green beans
- 1 T. coconut oil
- ½ t. black mustard seeds
- ½ t. white split gram beans (urad dahl)
- ½ t. tumeric
- ½ t. salt
- ¼ unsweetened coconut flakes
- ¼ t. red pepper
- Snap off ends of green beans and cut into 1 inch pieces.
- Steam beans for 5 minutes in microwave.
- While they are steaming heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When oil hot add the mustard seeds and cover the pan with a lid until they stop popping. Add gram beans, turmeric and salt.
- Add coconut and red pepper and cook for 1 minute.
- Add steamed beans and stir fry for 5 minutes.