Sadly my beans would not make a large side dish as they are still like little worms…but as they are in season, here is a deliciously different way of serving them. I had made a chicken and potato curry with fresh kale based on this recipe for chicken curry, substituting the dal with potatoes and adding extra cumin and coriander. The coconut milk is an important addition for creaminess. My guests loved it all!
Serves 4 as a side
40g desiccated or fresh grated coconut
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
4 banana shallots, sliced
150g unsalted cashews
700g green beans, topped and tailed
1 1/2 teaspoons tamarind paste
1 red chilli, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
Put a large pan of water on to boil. Next, put a frying pan over a low to medium heat and, when hot, add the coconut. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes until toasted and golden, keeping a (very) watchful eye on it so that it doesn’t burn, then tip on to a plate and leave to one side.
Put the oil into the same pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, add the shallots and fry for around 8 minutes, until they are soft and browning. Add the cashews, fry until golden, then take off the heat.
Meanwhile, put the beans into the pan of boiling water and cook for 4 minutes, or until tender (not too chewy but still nice and crisp to bite into), then drain and leave to dry.
Put the shallots and cashews back over a high heat and add the beans, tamarind, chilli and salt. Once everything is sizzling, toss through most of the coconut. Check for seasoning, then take off the heat and serve immediately, scattering the rest of the coconut over the top.