I had a whole bunch of fresh green beans that needed to be used, and also had a huge craving for thakaali saadham (Tamil-style tomato rice), and thus this recipe came to be!
Tomato rice is a naturally vegan dish of rice cooked in a classic combination of fried mustard seeds, urad dal, and turmeric; stewed with tomatoes and curry leaves. Today, I made the same tomato base, and instead of rice, stewed green beans in it, and they were just as nostalgic, comforting and marvelous.
Simple foods from home just hits differently ♥️
1 lb fresh green beans, strings removed from the sides, and chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1″ piece ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
2 tbsp urad dal
2 sprigs of curry leaves ~15 leaves
1 1/2 tsp sambar powder
1 tsp red chilli powder (optional for extra🔥, sambar powder already has some spice in it)
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp coarse salt
Serves ~ 4 to 6
Add oil to a large skillet, and pre heat over medium heat for a few seconds. Add mustard seeds and wait for them to start popping. In quick succession, add urad dal, asafoetida, turmeric and ginger. Fry for a few seconds, until the urad dal starts turning golden brown.
Next add the curry leaves, followed by the tomatoes and salt. Cook for a minute. Add red chilli and coriander powders and toss everything together.
Continue cooking for about 6-8 minutes. Splash a few tablespoons of water to deglaze the pan, and scrape any pieces stuck to the bottom. Using the back of your spatula crush the pieces of tomatoes to form a cohesive masala.
Now add the green beans, lower the heat, and cover the skillet. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, or until the green beans are perfectly tender, yet firm and have a little bite to it.
Sprinkle more fresh curry leaves on top, and serve with any type of Indian bread, or rice, or other grains.
Note: Sambar powder is a complex spice mix, available easily in Indian stores. If you don’t have any, a passable shortcut is to use a mix of coriander powder, and red chilli powder. Ideally, also add a pinch of fenugreek seeds or powder.