Chile and Coconut Green Beans

This is my all-time favorite green bean recipe that takes me back to one of my favorite countries, India.  The chiles and cumin provide a warm spice to the dish, and the coconut cools it all down.  It’s a perfect vegetarian dish, and if you make it for your friends and family, they’ll be begging for the recipe.

Ingredients (serves 8):
1 pound fresh green beans, stems trimmed
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or canola oil)
10 dried red chiles, small (Indian red chiles or chiles de árbol)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (whole)
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut
salt and pepper

Method: Heat a pot of water (6 cups) over high heat and bring to a boil.  Add 1 tablespoon of salt, and then add the beans.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes.  If beans are very thin, cook for less time.  Immediately drain beans into a bowl and run under cold water until they are cooled.  Remove beans to a sheet pan lined with paper towels so they can dry (don’t need to completely dry). 

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add the chiles, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds.  When you hear the mustard seeds start to pop add the green beans and stir to coat them in the oil and spices.  When they are warm, add the coconut and gently stir.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.  Transfer to a platter and serve.

SidesEvan Wei-HaasIndia