I often get asked what we normally eat at home. Is it the array of rich colorful curries the Indian cuisine if famous for, naans smothered with butter, biryani or what? Well the answer is this! Rich curries, naans and biryanis with a happy helping of butter is put on the table too but that is mostly for special occasions. On a normal day, this is what our dinner table looks like, a simple runny lentil soup with a quick tadka or tempering of very basic spices, hot fresh rotis and a simple vegetable stir fry again with some very minimal spices. Somedays if we have time in hand we’d make room for a simple dessert but normally plain yogurt (we prefer homemade but store bought does the job too) and pre-made papad (or popadum) is what plays the role of a “treat”.
Aloo Beans bhaji (stir fied potato and french beans) make regular appearances in my kitchen. Maybe because french beans are so widely available here in the US market, finding organic ones isn’t a huge task (unlike many traditional Indian vegetables), they are very easy to put together and cook in no time but mostly because both my girls love french beans and can eat it in any form, steamed, sautéed or raw! I usually follow my mummy’s recipe which is different from my MIL’s who cooks her everyday vegetable like this Aloo Gobhi here. Mummy on the other hand saves garam masala only for her curry dishes and sauteed vegetables only use a simple tadka (tempering) of garlic, dry whole chili and fenugreek seeds. You can use the same recipe to make pretty much any sautéed vegetable dish. Like these acorn squash I shared a while back. Serve it along side some hot dal, fresh rotis or rice and that’s a meal!
2 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 dry red chili (whole)
1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup potatoes (peeled and chopped to finger thickness)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups french beans (chopped)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
Heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Toss in garlic followed by fenugreek seeds and chili into the pan. Stir and let it brown and sizzle.
Add potatoes. Mix well. Add turmeric. Stir everything together. Turn the heat to medium low. Let the sides of the potatoes cook a little. As they begin to start browning, add beans. Mix in salt and let it cook on medium heat. Stir occasionally.
Once the vegetable are half done (about 5-7 minutes) stir in coriander. Cook until done, another 10 minutes or so. You could cover the pan after adding coriander for a quick process but the vegetables will taste better if you do not. Serve hot.