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  • Green Bean Thoran

    YIELD: 5 CUPS / 1.2 L
    TOOLS: You’ll need a large mixing bowl and a heavy-bottomed, 4-quart / 4-L sauté pan with a lid.
    TIP: Using fresh coconut is key here, but it’s very hard to find. If you have an Indian grocery store nearby, ask if they sell frozen, grated coconut, which I find has the closest consistency and flavor to the fresh stuff. If I am feeling really ambitious, I’ll get a fresh coconut, have the store split it, and use the grater I brought back from Kerala and hand grate it myself. But be warned: This option is definitely a project.

    The western coastal state of Kerala has a unique and wonderful food history unlike that found elsewhere in India. This dish gets its delicious appeal from the small dice of the vegetables and the subtle flavor of coconut. I ate a version of this dish practically every day on my visit in 2012 and have been making it at home ever since.

    • 1½ pounds /680 g Asian long beans or green beans, finely sliced (will yield 5 cups / 1.2 L)
    • 3 small shallots, minced
    • 3–4 fresh Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed and thinly sliced
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1½ tablespoons coconut oil, divided
    • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 5 whole dried red chiles
    • 10–15 curry leaves
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 1 cup /90 g dried, unsweetened grated coconut
    • 1½ teaspoons salt
    • ½ teaspoon red chile powder or cayenne pepper
    • Brown or white basmati rice or Roti, for serving
    1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the long beans, shallots, fresh chiles, and turmeric and stir well. Set aside.
    2. In a heavy-bottomed, 4-quart / 4-L sauté pan over medium–high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the mustard seeds and cook for 40 seconds, until the mustard seeds pop. They tend to pop out of the pan, so keep a lid handy. Carefully add the dried chiles and curry leaves and cook, stirring constantly, for 10 seconds.
    3. Add the bean mixture to the sauté pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, adding the water about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time to prevent sticking
    4. Add the grated coconut, salt, red chile powder, and the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil to the sauté pan and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes, until the mixture is cooked through. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside for 3 to 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend.
    5. Transfer to a serving bowl, stir well, and serve with the brown or white basmati rice or Roti.

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

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