I first came across this recipe at Ballymaloe Cooking school—last summer- shit, two summers ago—in Ireland. But the recipe originally comes from Madhur Jaffrey- a queen of Indian cooking. Normally, I would not count green beans among my favorite vegetables— but there is just so much flavor in these—I keep coming back. Also works great served along side a nice piece of fish, with some new potatoes etc. Btw-I’d rate this recipe as fast & easy.
1 pound fresh green beans
4 tablespoons vegetable oil [can also use grapeseed oil]
1 tablespoon whole black mustard seeds
4 cloves garlic- minced
1/2 -1 hot, dried red chili coarsely crushed in mortar [that’s a lot. Can also do a big pinch of red chili flakes]
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
freshly ground black pepper
Trim beans- and cut into 1-inch pieces [I keep them a bit longer than this- cutting each bean in half or thirds.] Boil a medium pot of water- blanch [which means quickly cook]- by dropping them into boiling water for 3-4 minutes or until just tender [I go on the low-end of this- as they will cook more later in pan.] Immediately drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Put aside. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium. When hot – add mustard seeds. When they begin to pop [and they will] [quickly hold pan away from the flame] and mix in your garlic [this helps it not to burn. then, put back down on flame] and cook until just turns light brown. Stir in chili flakes- cooking for a few seconds. Add green beans, salt and sugar. Stir. Turn heat to medium-low. Original recipe says cook for 7-8 or until beans have absorbed the flavor of spices- I probably cook less than that- beans should retain their bite. Add black pepper- mix- serve. I also finish most green vegetables with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten flavor.