There is a wide variety of vegetables that can be used in kootu dishes, and today we use a standard recipe with green or runner beans. Of course, it is delicious. It is the same as Brinjal Kootu but uses green beans. It is a variation suggested by Meenakshi Ammal in Vol 1 of Cook and See.
Fancy something spicy, green and delicious? This is just the thing if you are feeling a bit jaded and under nourished. Ladle your bowl full of steaming rice and top with this coconut sauced Thai style Green Bean Curry, and enjoy your day.
Green beans are such a gorgeous vegetable, and one that we don’t use enough. We are working to remedy that! A quick and gorgeous curry in the Thai Style.
Our original recipe used only Green Beans, and feel free to do that. I love the crunchy addition of the baby sweetcorn; it adds a colour and flavour contrast. We have also made it with bok choy and green beans – that also works very well. In today’s version coconut milk is added.
This recipe is a variation on one from our first blog that existed from 1995 – 2006. Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our Retro Recipes series.
Green Beans are versatile and delicious. They are common in many parts of the world, so common in fact that we take them for granted. The humble green bean is always there, forming part of our meals without hogging the lime light and without us paying too much attention to them.
But I have some recipes that will change that view. This recipe is Italian, a simple dish but delicious in that the flavours of the beans shine against the tomatoes. It is rustic, a farm dish indeed, but worthy of any table.
Kootu is a thick, coconut-heavy dal dish, tangy with tamarind and spiced with sambar spices. Today our Kootu is made with eggplant. It is easily and quickly made by simmering the eggplant in tamarind and spices before adding the dal and coconut.
The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal‘s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.
Green Beans – so fresh, crisp and inviting when fresh. This recipe comes from an old Chinese cooking book – it is probably 40 years old, but the recipes are incredibly good. It is an easy dish to whip up and is fragrant with the garlic and spring onions.
The green beans are first simmered in a vegetable stock, then briskly stir fried with the garlic and spring onions in some butter and oil. Then they are drizzled with Rice Vinegar and Sweet Soy. I like a bit of sesame oil at the end too.
Green Bean recipes include Freekeh with Green Beans, Walnuts and Tahini.
Flat beans don’t feature often at our place, but this recipe is worth including them in the weekly shopping. Quick cooked beans are tossed with toasted walnuts and tangy blue cheese. A great Winter salad.
A crumb is made with the walnuts and fresh breadcrumbs, and it complements the beans so very well. The blue cheese adds such a nice tang.
Today is a delicious Spring salad of asparagus, French beans, Broad beans, Edamame, and spinach. It creates a wonderful array of green, and this can be changed to your liking. Try chard, rocket, watercress, for example! It is a recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More.
We love dishes that feature the various shades of a single colour, it makes you stop to check what’s in there. Spring and Early Summer are the time to do this as there is artichoke, rocket, asparagus, broad beans, watercress, samphire, peas, cabbage, all kinds of lettuce, runner beans, broccoli, sprouting broccoli, spring onion, chard, spinach and many, many more to choose from. When you put a few of these in one bowl, you get the most glorious celebration of colour and Spring. Thanks Ottolenghi.
It you make a lot of Ottolenghi salads, you will know that some toasted nuts sprinkled over the top of a salad makes a world of difference to the salad, adding both visual impact and a textural element. Making a large batch of toasted seeds will save you time – keep them in an air tight container. In this dish he specified sesame seeds and kalonji. We actually used a mixture of nuts and seeds that were left over from a previous salad – slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and kalonji.
A salad to convert even the biggest tahini-hater. It is a take on a Japanese favourite. Broccolini, or use sprouting broccoli, is mixed with other greens for a visually pleasing and refreshing blend of textures. The recipe can also be made with just broccoli, sprouting broccoli or broccolini, with just the dressing. Perfect. Even more perfect – the Broccolini can be char-grilled for the salad, should you so wish.
This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.
It is nearly Spring, and salads are all the go for our daily menu. If you have been following our salads, you will know we are mainly doing very simple salads at the moment, as life is busy and wearying. Thank goodness for that mesclun that green grocers sell – by-the-kilo varietal mixes of green salad leaves. The base of any salad is so easy! They are available year round, and you can make this salad in a nest of salad greens in the centre of a big plate. We haven’t done that today, but often serve it that way.
The salad takes beans – green or broad beans, either one, or mix them – and tosses them with asparagus and olives. A little black garlic is broken into small pieces and added.
Are you after other Bean Salads? Try Crispy Green Beans with Ginger and Soy, Italian Flat Bean Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnut Crumbs, Glorious Five Bean Salad, and Green Beans with Lentil Crumble. Also try Baked Asparagus with Wine and Herbs.
How quirky the British can be at times, especially when it comes to all things Indian. British Indian cuisine is a food genre all to itself, with little relationship to the food of India. The famous Chicken Tikka Masala, for example, is British, not Indian. Vindaloo is a term used for any hot curry in England, not the specific and terrifyingly hot pork curry of Goa on the coast of West India, with its roots in the Portuguese occupation.
And there is another dish – Indian Ratatouille. Yes, my friends, it is a thing. Throw a few spices at a ratatouille and you have Indian Ratatouille. The French food masters must be turning in their graves.
And then Ottolenghi takes this (perhaps somewhat arrogant) British invention and makes it even more Indian – throwing out some of the the traditional vegetables, adding potatoes and okra, beans and tomatoes, and incorporating Bengali spices, tamarind and curry leaves. Has he insulted the French, the Indians and the British? Probably not, because the result is divine – let the food speak for itself, despite its name.
“A great ratatouille is one in which the vegetables interact with each other, but are still discernible from each other. The trick is to cook them just right: not over, not under.”
I cannot bring myself to call this dish Indian Ratatouille, so for me it is Vegetables with Indian Flavours. Panch Phoran is an Indian whole seed mix – it is available at Indian groceries, or you can make it yourself by mixing equal amounts of fenugreek, fennel, black mustard, nigella and cumin.
This Ottolenghi dish is from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.
It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Similar recipes include Okra with Sambal and Coconut Rice, Caponata and Chargrilled Pumpkin Salad with Labneh and Walnut Salsa.
All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes. Browse all of our Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.
We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.