There’s only one vegetable that my family commonly avoids and dislikes and that is French beans or haricot beans. Without any offence meant to either the vegetable or to any person, (after all it is quite a pretty, vibrant green & hugely nutritious vegetable), it’s just that we usually have an overdose of it in South India wherein it is hugely popular & prepared in almost every home at least twice a week (if not daily) and more so, as a specialty to guests visiting your home.
As if in reaction to that, we rarely cook the veggie in our home & when we do, it is usually one of these two absolutely interesting preparations wherein the beans are cooked in a way so as to retain their crunch & freshness, their vibrant colour, flavour as well as nutrition.
A common error we make with vegetables is overcooking them either with covering it for too long or cooking them with too much water, such that they discolour, look & taste extremely unappetizing & most importantly, lose most of their nutrients in the process.
A good way to cook beans is to chop them & drop them directly into boiling hot water for 2 minutes without a lid, such that they look totally fresh crunchy & a wicked mean green! You could also add a teaspoon of sugar to the boiling water to help them retain their colour.
So here are two mild recipes of beans for every day cooking, both slightly different in their treatment, their style, spices used and overall flavour. Great as side dishes with other main meat or lentil curries. Do let me know which one your family enjoyed & don’t forget to keep sharing your food pictures with me. I so look forward to making my next Gratitude video with them!
Recipe for French Beans and Potato Stir Fry
Ingredients (Serves 2 – 4 persons)
- 250 grams French beans / haricot beans, trims cleaned & chopped
- 1 potato, sliced
- ½ teaspoon cumin / jeera seeds
- 4-5 curry leaves / kadipatta
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder / haldi
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder / jeera powder
- ½ teaspoon amchur powder (dry mango powder) or according to taste
- 2 tablespoons oil
- salt as per your taste
- Heat 2 cups water in a saucepan with ½ teaspoon salt. Parboil the potato juliennes & French beans for 3-4 minutes until still firm (not yet soft). Drain thoroughly.
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan or kadhai. Add the cumin seeds & let them crackle. Add in the curry leaves and stir.
- Add the par boiled potatoes and sauté them for 2 minutes.
- Now add the beans and sauté both the veggies together for a minute on a low flame.
- Add the spice powders namely, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt as required.
- Cover & cook for 1 minute. Once the veggies are completely cooked, add the jeera powder, amchur powder and garam masala powder & mix well to combine. Cook covered for another minute on a low flame & switch off the flame.
- Serve your Aloo beans stir fry with hot rotis and dal /curd. Perfect for packing in your lunch boxes.