I am so excited that my first beans are sprouting in their cold frame; in anticipation of the bumper crop I will be harvesting later I tried out this delicious little spicy bean salad from Fresh India. I can’t get enough of this book! This is dead simple and a meal in itself for me but you can add rice, chapatis or have it as a side to another main course.
Serves 4 as a side
40g fresh or desiccated grated coconut
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
4 banana shallots (or any shallot) sliced
150g unsalted cashews
700g green beans topped and tailed
1.5 tsp tamarind paste, or to taste (should be astringent, sour/sweet)
1 red chilli crumbled if dried, or fresh sliced
3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
Dry fry the coconut until golden. Careful not burn. Set aside.
Cook the beans for 3-4 minutes in a pan of boiling water, drain and set aside. They should be crisp, but not hard and certainly not overcooked.
Add oil to the same pan and when hot add mustard seeds until they pop (I put a lid on so they don’t decorate the kitchen). Add shallots and fry for 5-8 minutes until soft. Add cashews and fry until they are golden.
Add the beans, chilli, tamarind, chilli and salt. Once nice and sizzling, toss in the coconut, saving a bit for decoration. Serve nice and hot!
My beans on the left, and my rampant cold frame on the right!