Looking for a way to spice up fresh green beans? Try this simple recipe for Sauteed Green Beans with Coconut. The addition of coconut and Indian Spices makes it a quick and tasty side dish.
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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 a great recipe for Indian spiced green beans, because it is relatively simple, yet gives the sauteed green beans a unique taste and texture.
Steaming the Green Beans
This recipe starts by steaming the beans for a few minutes to cook them. I steamed them for about 5 minutes in the microwave, but you could steam them on the stove top instead. My local grocery store sells green beans already cut, cleaned and in a microwaveable bag, which would make this recipe even easier.
Popping Mustard Seeds
This recipe is flavored by popping black mustard seeds, which is a standard technique in Southern Indian cooking. Black mustard seeds aren’t spicy like we think of mustard, and they give a nutty taste to the beans. Popping the seeds sounds intimidating, but it is actually very easy. You heat the oil on medium-high in a frying pan, and add the black mustard seeds and cover the pan with a lid. As soon as you hear popping take the pan off the heat and swirl it until the popping stops. Then place the pan back on and continue with the recipe.
Indian Spiced Green Beans
I then add split gram beans (urad dahl), tumeric and salt to the pan and saute for a few minutes. Split gram beans are a legume used in Indian cooking, but it can be omitted from the recipe without effecting the taste much if you don’t have them. Finally the steamed beans are sauteed with unsweetened coconut flakes and a little bit of red pepper flakes which adds a nice deep and spicy taste to the recipe. Make sure you use unsweetened coconut though, because otherwise the sauteed green beans will be too sweet!
This recipe sounds like it would be spicy, because of the mustard seeds and red pepper. But the black mustard seeds are actually not spicy at all. You can always leave out the red pepper flakes if you are not a fan of spicy vegetables!
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.
Nutrition facts are estimates.
Finding the ingredients for Sauteed Green Beans with Coconut
Some of these ingredients are not things that most cooks use daily. But you can probably find them in stores in any medium sized city. But if not you can find them online.
- Unsweetened coconut is available in the baking section of many stores or you can buy it online.
- Black mustard seeds and split gram beans are also available on Amazon.
Find more creative vegetable side dish recipes
- Beet Gratin
- Cheddar Bacon Grilled Red Potatoes
- Zucchini and Summer Squash Casserole
- Roasted Delicata Squash