Spicy Indian Beans (Beans Foogath)

This is an Indian dish, filled with rich and vibrant flavors. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a meal; serve it with hot rice or fresh bread (preferably naan, Indian flatbread). The Indian name for this dish is “beans foogath”, but it’s usually topped with shredded coconut. I didn’t have coconut on hand, though, so I made do without.

Spicy Beans Foogath (serves 2 as a side dish)

2 cups chopped green beans
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for sauteing
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1.5 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
dash of salt
1/4 cup chopped chives (onions are even better, but I was trying to use up the chives in my fridge – if you use onions, up it to 1/2 cup, chopped)
1 chopped fresh green chili (omit this if you’re sensitive to spicy foods)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
fresh grated coconut, for topping (optional, but very good!)

1. Boil 2 cups of water. Add the turmeric and beans; boil for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans in cold water. The turmeric will enhance the color of the beans.
2. Heat the oil in a pan (preferably a wok). Add the mustard seeds; cook until they start to snap, then add the curry powder, ginger, and salt. Cook for about 45 seconds. Add the chives or onions; cook for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the beans and chili pepper; stir over medium heat for another 2-3 minutes. Drizzle on the lemon juice and top with shredded coconut. (You can also add the coconut while still cooking the beans in the wok so that everything is hot.)

This dish can also be prepared with other vegetables like peppers, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower… You could even prepare it with firm tofu.

By the way, my menu plan for the week should be up sometime tomorrow.

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