Thursday, January 5, 2012

Green Bean Thoran

In the winter, I thank my lucky stars for green beans. The grocery store varieties taste remarkably similar to their farmer's market cousins. (If only that were true of the tomatoes. I stay far away from them.)

On most occasions, I give beans a quick stir-fry with a dash of garlic and some salt. But during a recent trip home, my mom spoiled me with her much more full-flavored green bean thoran. Like other thorans, the dish gets much of its richness from unsweetened coconut. What makes green bean thoran really unique though is the way the beans are cut in short segments. The shape offers a little more chew and a little more give in every bite. Sounds strange, but I swear it's true.

Traditionally, the final step of the green bean thoran recipe calls for flavoring oil with mustard seeds and sauteing the steamed beans in the oil. My mom (who hates to cook, but always tends to my belly) suggested I share this more simple yet still yummy version! Enjoy!


Serves 4 to 6


1/2 pound green beans
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 a jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 freshly ground cumin
2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
Salt to taste
Dash of turmeric
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon coconut oil or canola


Trim the ends off of the beans.

Line four to five beans together on a cutting board.

Slice them into very short segments.

Place the beans, onion, pepper, garlic, cumin, coconut, salt, turmeric, and water in a saucepan. Stir.

Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Stir again.

Cook until the water has evaporated, about 3 minutes.

Mix in the oil.

Serve with white rice and yogurt.

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