Summer is upon us down south. It is lime for squash and green beans, and lots of them. This dish made me fall for green beans all over again. The combination of black mustard seeds with toasty coconut and sesame seeds with bright, still crisp green beans had me. It was so addictive that I made it for dinner one night this week, scavenged the fridge for the leftovers later in the evening. And then still was unsatisfied when I wanted it again at lunch and there was no more. So, I made it again. Less than 24 hours later. I know. I don’t do that. I rarely repeat recipes every two months. Really. And yet I made this again the next day for lunch because I was craving the peppery pop of the mustard seeds again the sweet toasted chew of the coconut and the vibrant beans. And then I ate every last bean, mustard seed, sesame seed, and coconut shard on the plate. Except for the ones my daughter stole from my plate, because she liked it too.
This is my interpretation of a classic South Indian Dish. I love it hot, but think it is also excellent as a cold salad. Whatever temperature you like, go for it. You will be glad you did.
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds (black variety preferred)
2 Tbsp. raw sesame seeds
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes, or more to taste
1 1/2 pounds green beans, cut in half particularly long
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 t. sea salt
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. When the oil is shimmering, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to pop and crackle, add the sesame seeds, coconut and chili flakes. Once the seeds and coconut are golden and toasted, add the green beans, salt and stir. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Taste, adjust seasonings if necessary. Add a bit of water if necessary to prevent seeds and coconut from toasting further. Cook another few minutes while stirring. When the beans are tender crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes.