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default Masaledar Sem (spicy green beans)

Post by Chilli-head on 26th July 2017, 10:58 am

Seems like everyone is having a good year for beans !  Might be timely to share this recipe, originally from Madhur Jaffery's TV series many, many moons ago.  The great thing is that whilst green beans frozen from fresh taste not so great when defrosted, those made into Masaledar Sem first then frozen still taste pretty good.  C-H Jnr likes these a lot. Which is fortunate, because I made a double recipe quantity last night !

1 1/2 pounds (750 grammes) fresh green beans
1 piece fresh ginger 1 1/2 inches (4 centimeters) long and 1 inch (2 1/2 centimeters) thick
10 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups (350 milliliters) water
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1 dried hot chilli, lightly crushed in a mortar
2 teaspoons ground coriander
8 oz (225 grammes) tomatoes, peeled and chopped. Or tinned will do.
1 teaspoon salt (or more or less to taste)
juice of  1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon dry roasted and ground cumin (see note above [edit: make that below !])
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim the beans and cut them crosswise into 6mm lengths (it will end up being more like 8-10mm when patience runs short, but that's ok  Wink.

Blend the ginger and garlic with 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) water eiither in an electric blender, or I prefer to bash it in a pestle ad mortar.

Put the oil in a wide, heavy pot over medium heat. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. Five seconds later, put in the crushed chilli. As soon as it darkens, pour in the ginger-garlic paste. Stir and cook for about a minute. Put in the coriander. Stir a few times.

Add the tomatoes. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, mashing up the tomato pieces with the back of a slotted spoon as you do.

Put in the beans, salt to taste, and the remaining water. Bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the beans are nearly tender. Remove the cover and add the juice of half a lemon, the ground roasted cumin seeds, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.  Simmer uncovered to finish the beans and allow the sauce to reduce.  You can leave this till after defrosting, if preparing for the freezer.


Last edited by Chilli-head on 26th July 2017, 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
Chilli-head
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default Re: Masaledar Sem (spicy green beans)

Post by freebird on 26th July 2017, 3:16 pm

Mmmm, thanks for posting that CH. I am a fairly recent convert to Madhur Jaffrey after finding a curry cook book in a charity shop. They are some of our favourite recipes now. We especially like her stir-fry spiced cauliflower recipe. Looking forward to trying this. How many does it serve?

Penultimate ingredient - dry roasted and ground cumin. What note above? Am I missing something?
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default Re: Masaledar Sem (spicy green beans)

Post by Chilli-head on 26th July 2017, 3:28 pm

Arg - cut and paste accident !  To roast spices: Just put a pan (that you don't love too much) on a medium heat, dry.  Pop in the seeds, and toast, tossing occasionally, until they turn a shade darker and emit a toasted aroma.  If they start to emit tear gas, you've overdone it by a few tens of seconds !

Oh yes - I think it is supposed to serve six as a side dish. Fairly generously.
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Post by freebird on 30th July 2017, 6:40 pm

We had this tonight. It's a keeper!
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Post by freebird on 31st July 2017, 11:04 am

Though, having had this, I still can't see me freezing any. I don't have a problem with the taste of frozen beans, but they lose their texture, which for me is a big part of my enjoyment.
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Post by Ploshkin on 31st July 2017, 11:11 pm

Freebird, have you tried freezing some beans without branching. I understand that they have a much better texture though won't keep as long as blanched one's. I've tried some to see what I think as I don't particularly like beans after freezing. I do chop up the ones that have got too big and throw them in the freezer in a container marked 'beans for curry'.
I'll certainly have a try of this recipe. I'm in a bean lull just now but Mr Fearns, Kew Blue and runner beans are all looking promising.
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Post by freebird on 15th October 2017, 8:08 pm

Had the post-freezer version of this tonight. Flavour excellent, bean texture that weird combination of flabby yet not over-cooked. Still don't like what freezing does to them, even in this dish, but I shall make it for the freezer again. It's deliciousness overrides everything else.
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