You don’t need to be making lamb saag to make these green beans. It just helps because you’ll already have the spices toasted and freshly ground. And that’s important when the dish is so bland. The beans don’t taste overly “Indian.” So you can serve them with mashed potatoes and chicken or fish, or roasted vegetables, or any kind of meat, or chickeas, or a big quinoa salad, or a rice bowl with tahini dressing…or…Okay, you get it. I’m stopping now.
Basically if you’re looking to add a green veg to something to up the chlorophyll in your diet, this works just fine. Also, you know, nutrients. Because man cannot live on meat alone. Well, no, that’s a lie. But some me/women cannot, and most shouldn’t, and some of us don’t eat much meat at all, which is better for the planet and also often for our digestive tracts. 4 days! It can take up to 4 days for meat to work its way through your body! (Or as little as a day and a half, to be fair.)
Right, I was talking about green beans. How did I get into talking about the meat digestion? This is generally how many of my conversations go, which makes me both a very interesting person and a particularly bad date. Those are both in my own opinion. I do not solicit feedback on either. Perhaps I should, especially if the second part is already true anyway.
Simple ingredient list, great cooking technique. Try it.
Cumin-Coriander Green Beans
1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
3 to 4 cups green beans (depends how much you like green beans and if you want leftovers…)
1 tbsp sunflower oil or other high-heat oil (sesame, canola, etc.)
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
Toast coriander and cumin seeds in a small frying pan without oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until they’re golden and aromatic. Stir occasionally so they brown on all sides. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool. When cool, grind the seeds in a spice or coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle. Or leave them whole if you want.
Trim green beans. Steam beans in a large pot of boiling water for about 4 minutes, or until slightly softened but still crisp. Taste one and if you’d be okay eating it that hard, it’s done. “Tender-crisp” is the technical term according to many a Food Network star.
Drain beans and rinse in cold water to blanch them and stop the cooking process. They should be bright green. Keep them in a bowl of ice water or under cold, running water until they come to room temperature.
Heat oil in a clean large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add coriander and cumin followed immediately by green beans and salt. Stir to coat for 1 minute. Done! Remove the beans from the pot so the spices don’t burn.