cook in a curry

Spiced Indian Green Beans


I love the smells from my kitchen at the moment; smoky earthy dried whole red chillies that I just fried off in oil. Infusing the chilli heat in the oil; these deep red variety are glistening in the frying pan and filling my home with the roasted aroma.

If you have been reading my post for a while you’d know I love a good hearty curry. Though to my mind an Indian meal made from scratch does not always translate to a lengthy cooking process. Spiced Indian green beans are just that; bright green beans gleaming in the flavoured oils coated in mustard seeds & chillies but still making them the star of the dish rather than a supporting act to one. A dish with very few ingredients to wake up your taste buds. Served warm with a sprinkling of coriander, lime & sea salt I love eating it with some flaky buttery paratha & plain yoghurt or as my mum would serve it with a substantial helping of yoghurt rice.

Curry leaves, dried red chillies and mustard seeds are all synonymous with Maharashtra, Goa and of course southern Indian cooking. And used generously in most of our traditional home cooked menus. The dried red chillies impart a mild heat but a very distinct flavour. Though if you prefer you can use fresh chillies but make sure to vary quantities based on how hot you like your dish. The recipe also includes a tsp of coriander powder which I feel enhances and blends together the taste of the over all dish.


300gms green beans trimmed

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Pinch of asafoetida

1 tsp mustard seeds

3 dried whole red chillies

5-7 curry leaves

1 tsp coriander powder

Salt to taste

1 tbsp lime juice

Finely chopped fresh coriander to garnish


Heat water in a small sauce pan (about 2lt) and bring to boil. Add the beans to the water and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and run them under cold water and set aside.

In a frying pan heat the oil on a medium flame. Add the asafoetida and mustard seeds. Let the seeds crackle & pop. Now break the dry red chillies in half and add them to the pan along with the curry leaves followed by the beans. Stir the beans well and warm through on a low flame for a couple of minutes. Tip in the coriander powder and salt. Mix well. Cover the pan and take it off the heat.


Just before serving add the lime juice and chopped coriander.

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  1. Jenni
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Hello, how far in advance could I make this please – is two days too far?
    Also where can I find asafoetida in Newcastle? Could some finely chopped fennel be a substitute?

    • maunika
      Posted September 18, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Hi Jenni, This can be served cold. Add the beans at the last minute and they should be fine. Asafoetida is sold at a lot of supermarkets as well x

  2. Posted May 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Green beans used to be among my least favourite vegetables. This is such a simple but most delicious recipe. Thank you for transforming green beans for me!

    • maunika
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Thanks Pooja! So glad you like it. My fav way to eat it is with curd rice. Comfort food:) M x

  3. Pooja Vir
    Posted October 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Just tried this with cabbage – another veg I am not a fan of. This recipe is like a magic tonic that transforms a boring vegetable!

  4. Linda
    Posted January 17, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Hi. are the curry leaves used in this recipe dried or fresh? Thanx

    • maunika
      Posted January 18, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Hi Linda, I’ve used fresh curry leaves although you can use dried ones as well if you prefer. Hope you like it!

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