Kerala Green Beans


By Anita Jaisinghani

Serves 3-4


Kerala Green Beans


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon(s) black mustard seeds
  • 3 stalks kari leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon(s) minced garlic
  • 1 serrano pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon(s) black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/3 cup(s) packed grated fresh coconut
  • 1 lemon(s)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) toasted sesame seeds

Kerala Green Beans Directions

  1. Without trimming the ends of the beans, slice each bean diagonally into two.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the mustard seeds and kari leaves (if using lemongrass, remove the tough outer stalk, bruise the tender inside stalk and chop small) and cook until the seeds pop. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds until it is opaque.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the green beans, serrano, black pepper and salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the beans are tender but still bright green.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated coconut. Just before serving, squeeze the juice of the lemon over the beans and sprinkle on the sesame seeds.

Recipe notes

I love South Indian food, and I particularly love the way the flavors of coconut, mustard and kari leaves mesh. I am also a fanatic about color and texture, so it’s important that the green beans remain crisp and bright green. (If the beans do wilt, they’ll still taste good.) This recipe can be prepared using Chinese long beans, haricots verts or standard green beans.

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