Now that the NBA finals are over and done, it's back to normal food around here. I've temporarily put away the pizza and am taking advantage of all the great fruits and vegetables available right now. Let's put it another way. After the NBA finals I have to put the pizza away. Ok? Enough said.
One vegetable that always seems to be on sale around here are green beans. As I've mentioned before, green beans weren't a biggie with me growing up. There's nothing very exciting about a grayish noodly hunk of bean. But crisp and green and all spiced up..oh my!
I hit the bean bin the other day seeing as they were 99 cents a pound, and there's no number I like better than 99 cents unless it's 89 cents. I bought a pound of green beans, because at that price I couldn't not buy them. So, I had my beans. Now what to do?
When I mentioned that I've developed my very own deeply scientific theory about men and dogs both loving anything covered in peanut product, I neglected to mention one thing. Coconut. And me. I'm cooking up another theory, this one involving women and their love of coconut.
Just hear me out for a minute. There's coconut scented skin creams, coconut scented hair products and even though Alan hates it, every night I use a lip cream before I go to bed that contains coconut. Ok, to be honest here, the reason he hates it is that it's not just a coconut scented lip cream. It's a Hostess Snowball Flavored lip cream. And no, I'm not 5 years old. I just happen to
The secret about cooking with coconut is to get the wonderful flavor and not wind up serving something that tastes like a Mounds Bar. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The way this is accomplished is mixing a coconut masala, a spice mixture where coconut plays a big role but doesn't steal the entire show.
This recipe is a two parter. The first round involves chopping the green beans into one inch lengths and pre-steaming them until they're just tender about 10 minutes or so.
While the bean are steaming, it's a great time to do the masala.
1 tsp of vegetable oil. I used coconut oil for this dish.
1/3 cup of channa dal
1 and 1/2 Tbs of coriander seed.
1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
Heat the oil and then toss in the coriander seed, channa dal and red pepper.
Stir fry it a bit until the spices and channa dal darken a bit. It should take just a minute or two.
Place the mixture into a blender or processor along with :
1/2 cup of grated dried, or fresh unsweetened coconut.
Grind it up a bit then add in 2 cups of water. Grind it to a puree.
Heat it up, stirring it frequently. The masala mix will thicken and dry as it cooks.
When the masala is dry, toss in the lightly steamed green beans.
Warm the beans and masala together.
In a small cast iron skillet heat :
1 Tbs of coconut oil
When the oil is hot toss in:
1 tbs of finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 Tbs of brown mustard seed
When the mustard seeds start to pop, drizzle the whole thing over the green bean dish.
Mix in the juice of one fresh lime and 3 Tbs of chopped fresh cilantro.
In closing, I can only add that if you have coconut lovers in your house, this masala paste will get them to eat almost anything!