Watching these green beans growing in the fields where I walk the dog made me think about using them in a dish as the main ingredient. We eat quite a lot of green beans but always as a side vegetable. I wanted to give them the chance to be the star.
I found a Madhur Jaffrey recipe for Green Lentils with Green Beans & Fresh Coriander in another magazine clipping The Washer Up’s dad, Jim had sent to me. I used that as a base to work from and added a lot more spices and some of my homegrown green chillis.
I had some new potatoes in my fridge so I added those and I used mint instead of coriander because that was what I had. The mint works really well with the beans and the potatoes and gives the whole dish a lovely freshness as well as being a cool partner to the fiery chilli.
This is surprisingly delicious, by that I mean that humble everyday ingredients can be brought together with a bit of spice and chilli heat to create something really special. And you don’t need to serve anything with it, so less washing up!
Green Bean Lentil & Potato Curry with Green Chilli & Mint
Serves 3-4 vegan, gluten-free. Adapted from Curry Easy by Madhur Jaffrey
- 250 gr green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
- 200 gr dried lentils
- 750 ml water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 425 gr new potatoes, quartered
- 1 tsp Punchpooran (An Indian whole spice mix that includes: cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, black mustard seeds and onion seeds) Available from East End Foods.
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, then crushed in a mortar & pestle
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves, garlic
- 2 green chillis, finely chopped (deseeded if you like it milder)
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 500 ml veg stock (maybe more)
- 1 tin (400 gr) chopped tomatoes
- salt & black pepper
- the juice of half a lemon
- a handful of fresh mint leaves, (about 15) finely chopped plus some sprigs for garnish
Put the lentils and water in a medium pan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered for about 20 minutes until the lentils are nearly cooked and most of the water has been absorbed. Then season with salt & black pepper.
Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large pan that has a lid over a medium heat. Add the punchpooran, cumin, mustard and crushed coriander seeds and cook until they start to pop. Add the onion cook for about 5 minutes until softened then add the garlic, ginger, chillies and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add in the quartered potatoes, turmeric and garam masala and season well with salt & pepper. Stir to coat the potatoes in the spices then add the stock and tinned tomatoes and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Next add in the beans and cook for another 5 minutes with the lid on (If it is dry you may want to add some more stock). Then add in the cooked lentils and cook for a further 5 minutes. By this time the potatoes should be cooked, if not add a bit more stock and give them another 5 minutes.
Squeeze over the lemon and stir in the chopped mint. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Serve in warmed bowls garnished with the mint sprigs.
This is actually really good served cold/room temperature as a salad for lunch the next day too.
Have a great weekend…