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Spicy Green Beans - Madaledar sem

These green beans are full of Indian flavour and make a great side for curries and other Indian dishes but they would also add interest to a roast chicken. Chopping them up small changes the texture in a nice way too.

Spicy Green Beans (Masaledar sem) – serves 6

  • 750g green beans, trimmed and cut into 5mm lengths
  • 4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 350ml water
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 dried hot red chilli, lightly crushed in a mortar
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped (to peel the tomatoes drop into boiling water for 15 seconds after which the skins should come off easily)
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground, roasted cumin seeds

Put the ginger and garlic into a blender or food processor with 120ml of the water and blend until fairly smooth.

Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pot over a medium-high heat. When hot put in the cumin seeds, and 5 seconds later the crushed chilli. As soon as it darkens add the ginger-garlic paste, then stir and cook for a minute. Stir in the coriander, then add the chopped tomato. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, mashing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.

Add the beans, about 1¼ tsp salt and the rest of the water, then bring to a simmer. Cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the beans are tender.

Remove the cover. Add the lemon juice, the ground roasted cumin seeds, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Increase the heat and boil away the liquid while gently stirring the beans.

(Original recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking, Barron’s Educational Series, 2002.)

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