My glut this week is green beans. Beans are never usually in glut. All those we don’t get round to eating green are just left to mature, then shelled, dried and stored. But as many of you will be aware, it hasn’t been good drying weather in northern NSW this week!
The poor drying weather led to the platter rationale too. We were all flooded in over the weekend, so we invited neighbours for a curry night. Curry nights are a great kind of potluck dinner, needing no co-ordination, and allowing people to go simple or as gourmet as they like. Sue brought a tray of kangaroo samosas and Camilla brought stuffed chilis as entrés, Brett brought papadams, Helen brought a sweet potato and vegetable curry, and I made a tromboncino curry, a Cucumber Raita, Green Mango Pickles in Oil, Hot Mango and Tomato Chutney, and these spiced green beans. A real feast, put together two flooded causeways away from the nearest shops, using just garden and pantry provisions.
You need a large, heavy fry pan with a lid.
Green beans are like octopus – they have to be cooked really fast, just blanched, or long and slow. This is a long and slow recipe. It takes 20 minutes, but it takes all of that for the flavours to meld.
Chop and lightly fry a large onion in a little olive oil.
As soon as the onion softens, add 500 grams of green beans, stringed if necessary but left whole.
Put the lid on the pan, turn the heat down to medium low, and cook for 10 minutes, shaking the pan every so often to stir.
- 2 heaped teaspoons of grated turmeric (or one of dry)
- 1 big teaspoon of finely diced chili
- 3 big dessertspoons of shredded coconut
- a good pinch of salt
Stir them in, put the lid back on, and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. It will tend to stick more, with the coconut, so you will need to stir frequently.
Taste. You may need to add more salt – they need a bit to balance.
They’re good as a plate in an Indian feast, or as finger food on a platter.