Dry-Fried Green Beans and Potatoes

Freshly picked beans, warm from the sun. What could be better?

Here, green beans and potatoes are gently fried in spice-infused ghee (clarified butter). Shredded coconut and lemon juice are stirred in at the last minute, along with chopped cilantro. Serve with rice or roti. This can even be eaten all by itself, along with some chilled yogurt, for a light vegetarian meal.

Roasted cauliflower, with aamchur (dried mango powder) and asafoetida;
Dry-fried green beans and potatoes, with Indian spices, lemon and coconut

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1 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
5 dried curry leaves
1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 2″ long pieces
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tomato, diced
a pinch of ground coriander powder
a pinch of crushed chiles
a pinch of turmeric
a generous pinch of salt
juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons shredded coconut
a handful of cilantro, chopped

Melt ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves to the pan. When the seeds “pop”, add the onion and garlic. Cook for a minute, stirring occasionally, then add the potatoes, green beans, coriander powder, chiles, turmeric and salt. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently, or until vegetables are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. About 2 to 3 minutes in, add the tomato to the pan. If the vegetables seem too dry, sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of water. Alternately, lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Ideally, the vegetables should cook in a minimal amount of liquid.

When the vegetables are tender, remove from heat. Let cool slightly. Stir in lemon juice, shredded coconut and some chopped cilantro, then serve at once.

Time: 30 minutes, including prep.


    • Store-bought is a perfectly acceptable alternative if you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own.

      One of these days I’ll do a demo. It’s really a very simple process to make your own ghee, and the results are well worth the effort. It’s also my preferred fat for deep-frying — its smoke point is around 485 F (250 C), well above that of most vegetable oils.


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anna brones

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