snake beans

July 15, 2013 § 2 Comments

chilli coconut snake beans

The Tropical Garden Spectacular  was on a few weeks ago. At the botanical gardens under trees with impossibly huge canopies I watched some local food cooking demonstrations. Lined up on straw bales with the green grass at our feet, some glimpse of paradise on the warm breeze, the chef Selvam Kandasamy from Saffrron, taught a small group of us how to make snake beans, sautéed in spices with coconut and curry leaves. And this my dear friends is a dish to be celebrated.

Snake beans are the lanky tropical equivalent of the green bean and you would be forgiven for thinking them somewhat tough and woody with little flavour. This recipe however  does them justice. It is full of flavour, crunchy, slightly sweet, bright green and turmeric yellow. The coconut and chili melts on your tongue. The intermittent curry leaves are bright in your mouth. The beans are cooked hot in a wok for just the very right amount of time making them softly crunchy and fluorescent.

I have made this recipe many times since then and each time I have continued to love it.  It is similar to the original made by Selvam Kandsamy except I have used coconut oil instead of peanut oil.

Spicy Snake Beans with Coconut and Curry Leaves

Serves: 4 – 5 as a main or 6 – 8 as a side dish.

Note: If you are in distant and cooler parts wanting to use something more locally appropriate I am sure green beans would also make a good substitute.

3 Tbsp pure coconut oil
2 flat tsp brown mustard seeds
2 flat tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1 red onion finely diced
1 whole fresh red chillis (you can also use 1 tsp dried chilli flakes instead)
1 Tbsp Split yellow lentils (optional)
4 cups chopped snake beans
1/2 cup shredded coconut
A good handful fresh curry leaves
Extra salt to taste

chopped snake beans and white bowl

Prepare all your ingredients before hand. Once you start cooking it all happens fast.

In a wok heat the oil on a medium to high flame until hot. Add the mustard seeds, turmeric, onion, and salt. Stir until the onions turn just translucent, then add the chilli and lentils. Continue stirring and add the beans and coconut stirring until the beans are just cooked through but still have a crunch and are bright green. Add the curry leaves and remove from heat.

It is lovely served as a side to fish or on its own with brown rice.

I hope you like it as much as I do.

ingredients for snake bean stir fry

quinoa pancakes

July 8, 2012 § 7 Comments

I have been eating a lot of these lately, drizzled with maple syrup, fresh grated pear and creamy yoghurt. Its a lovely way to start these cold days. Pretty healthy too given that they are gluten free and full of protein. Instead of using buckwheat flour you can add double the amount of almond meal or vice versa. Up to you!

Recipe for quinoa pancakes

3/4 cup quinoa
1  1/4 cups water
2 eggs
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup additional water
1 tsp baking powder

First you will need to cook the quinoa: Rinse and drain the quinoa and then place in a saucepan along with 1  1/4 cups water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer until all the water is absorbed and the grains are soft, much like you would cook rice.

Allow to cool before adding  all the remaining ingredients including the additional water. Beat with a fork or whisk until you have a fluffy and well combined batter.

Cook as you would any pancakes in a heavy based greased frying pan, over a medium flame and tilting once you have added the batter to help it spread a little. Cook until golden brown on both sides.

Have a lovely day…

xx

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