I made these beans to use up some leftover coconut from the annual Christmas cookie extravaganza. It gave the green beans a hint of the tropics plus a bit of texture. The spicy Indian flavors marry well with the tame beans.
When I first read the recipe, I had no idea I’d be able to find split lentils, but my local whole foods co-op had them in the bulk section. If you can’t find them, use the smallest lentils you can find. You may need to soak and/or cook your lentils longer than is indicated in the recipe below.
We ate these alongside Black-Eyed Pea Curry on New Year’s Day.
Green Beans with Coconut
- 2 teaspoons split red lentils urad dal
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 12 dried curry leaves crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 jalapeño chile seeded and minced
- 2 pounds fresh or frozen green beans cut (if using frozen, thaw partially)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro optional
Rinse the lentils and cover them with water. Let soak for at least 5 minutes. Drain.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and lentils. Sauté until lentils start to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add turmeric, jalapeño, green beans, salt and water. Cook, covered, over low heat. Stir occasionally and add more water, if necessary, until beans are tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in coconut and remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro, if using.