Experimenting with Asian flavours (spiced beans recipe)

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I’ve been having fun researching the flavours of Asia over the last few weeks with the help of Charmaine Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook (1976) and her Asian Favourites (2001) and the Women’s Weekly Indian Style Cookery (1997). I’ve made a vindaloo curry (the meat was marinated in vinegar o’night with loads of spices, ginger, shallots, chilli and garlic); I used the front leg of goat for this recipe (the butcher says it is better suited to slow cooking than the back leg) the meat was tender and full of flavour after cooking for a couple of hours. A spiced bean dish was next, our fresh beans were cooked in coconut milk, various spices and fresh coriander, this was absolutely lovely. We had masala chicken drumsticks for dinner one night, the drumsticks were massaged with a dry spice mix before being grilled, they were really tender and juicy, not sure if it was because they had been marinating for 24 hours or because they were cooked in the Webber or both perhaps? A Punjabi style lamb shank curry followed, this one used spinach and tomatoes in the gravy, it was delicious too, full of flavour and the meat fell off the bone. This weekend I made Kitchri (spiced rice and lentils), a dish of garden vegetables cooked in spices and coconut milk, some raita and onion sambal and another goat curry, this time a Burmese style curry that used 1 cup of ginger, 20 cloves of garlic, loads of onions and not many spices at all. The meat and the aromatics were cooked separately for 1.5 hours, then they were put together, and that is when the magic happened (I had my doubts about the dish until then). Tonight we had left over rice/lentils and coconut vegetables with a  boned stuffed chicken from our local butcher, I think my stomach needs a rest from the large volume of onions, garlic, ginger and chilli it’s had to deal with lately. So far the Burmese curry has been my favourite of the meat dishes (Pasta man liked the vindaloo better) but the vegetables, rice dish and the raita were by far my champions. I don’t really think I am a massive fan of slow cooked meat, it’s OK occasionally and it’s fun to cook but other ways of cooking proteins suit my constitution and palate better. I’ve included the recipe for the Tamil (southern India) bean dish, it is quite fast to prepare and a lovely way to cook beans or other vegetables.

Spiced beans
Recipe type: vegetarian
Cuisine: Tamil (southern India)
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5
An easy vegetable dish that tastes fabulous
  • 2 tbs ghee or oil (not olive)
  • 1 tbs finely grated ginger
  • 2 small red chillies finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 500 grams of beans
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbs fresh chopped coriander leaves
  1. Heat the oil or ghee in a wok and cook ginger, chillies, garlic and seeds, stirring for 2 minutes
  2. Add the beans and cook (stirring often) for about 5 minutes or until they are tender
  3. Add the coconut milk and continue to cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes and until most of the milk has evaporated
  4. Just before serving add the coriander leaves
Any type of vegetables could be used for this dish

our lovely just picked beans, yum

our lovely just picked beans, yum





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