Sophie Grigson's Green Bean Sabzi
An Indian sabzi or sabji is nothing more than a spiced vegetable dish, usually quite homely, and very good to eat.
This one, made with green beans and orange sweet potato can be eaten as a light lunch dish, with roti or naans and a yoghurt raita to moisten it, or serve it as a side dish with grilled chicken or lamb chops.
200g green beans
2 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil
1 teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1-2 green chillies, chopped or slit vertically
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 teaspoon asafoetida
1 sweet potato, quartered lengthways, then thinly sliced
1 tomato, deseeded and diced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Salt to taste
Cut the beans into 2 cm lengths. Heat the oil in a medium frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and the cumin. As soon as the mustard seeds start popping, clamp the lid on for a few seconds, to stop them shooting all over the place. Remove the lid and add the chilies, garlic and asafoetida. Fry for a few seconds, then add all the remaining ingredients. Stir well, turn the heat down low, cover and cook for 5-8 minutes. Check that the potato is cooked through, taste and adjust seasonings and serve.
From “Spices”, published October 2011 (Quadrille)