Green Bean Curry

Curried Green Beans

Maybe it’s the Asian part of me, but I love getting a good deal. This especially holds true when it comes to high quality food, like the produce they have at the Union Square Farmer’s Market. So how does one go about getting a discount at the farmer’s market you ask?

Don’t worry it doesn’t involve haggling, we’re not buying a car here after all. Just plan to arrive about 15-20 minutes before the market closes down. The timing can be a bit tricky. Arrive too early, and you’ll be hanging out in the sweltering heat, waiting for the discount placards to come out. Get there a few minutes too late, and all you’ll get is a lung-full of diesel fumes as the vendors drive off.

Many of the vendors will be sold out of stuff already, but last weekend, I scored a three pound bag of green beans for $2, a two pound bag of tomatoes for $3, two boxes of baby basil for $5, and 2 pints of strawberries for $7. Not a bad haul for less than an Andrew Jackson.

I was so pleased with my bargain-hunting prowess that I it didn’t occur to me until I gotten home, that I’d just bought an awful lot of green beans. Cooked as a side, it would take me at least 8 meals to polish them off; far longer than the shelf-life these beans that had been sitting in the sun all day would have.

I’ve always said that if I were to try vegetarianism again, I’d move to India. That’s why I did what I always do when I have a lot of vegetables. I made a green bean curry.

Green Bean Curry

There’s a South Indian restaurant in London (who’s name escapes me right now) that makes a delicious “dry” curry with coconut in it. I thought the texture of the coconut would go nicely with the green beans, and since I had half a red bell pepper sitting in the fridge I threw that in for color. If I’d had some curry leaves, I would have thrown some of those in as well.

If you’re of Indian descent, you’re probably questioning the authenticity of my green bean curry, and you’d be right to do so, but I have to tell you, it was delicious. The green beans were tender, but still had some texture, while the coconut gave you something to chew on. The combo of spices, which I picked up from a Gujarati friend, imbued the humble legume with a ton of flavor, while the yogurt took a bit of the edge off the heat.

Green Bean Curry

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
5 whole cloves
2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (2″ knob)
1 tablespoon grated fresh garlic (3-4 large cloves)
1 large onion sliced thin
1 tablespoon kosher salt (less if using regular salt)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tomato chopped
1/2 red bell pepper sliced
1 pound fresh green beans trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
1/3 cup vegetable stock (or water)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
minced cilantro for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, and cloves. Stir around until the spices start to make a crackling noise. Add the garlic and ginger and give it a coupe stirs. Add the onion, salt and sugar, turn down the heat to medium low and fry stirring periodically until the onions are soft and starting to brown.

Add the cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, coconut, tomato, bell pepper green beans and stock and stir to combine. Partially cover with a lid and cook until the green beans are tender (about 15-20 minutes). You want them cooked longer than if you were just blanching them so they absorb the flavor of the curry, but they shouldn’t be mushy either.

When the green beans are done, taste for salt and spice and adjust as needed. When the flavor is to your liking, turn off the heat and stir in the yogurt. Top the green bean curry with minced cilantro and serve immediately with some basmati rice or naan.

  • Katie@Cozydelicious

    Yum! This looks great. So excited to have found you – I live this recipe! I also managed to snag a great deal on greenbeans at the farmers market yesterday. I’m totally making this!

  • tee

    If you’re back in London any time soon, the best Kerala restaurant is called Rasa. They have a few locations specializing in different dishes, but my favourite (in spite of me being a voracious carnivore), is the vegetarian location by my house in Hackney. If you love Indian veggie curries it is an absolute must. Chilli onion rava dosa is so good it’ll melt your face.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, those psychedelic colours are so appealing this hot season. If only I could smell the spicy aroma too :)

  • Peter G

    Dry curries are my favourite Marc…and I totally agree about moving to India to become vegetarian!

  • Ninetteenrique

    Looks awesome. I’ve been out of pocket for a few months and am glad to see you’re still up to making delicious recipes — without a recipe!

  • Jan Bennett

    Marc this curry looks totally delish!


    I’m absolutely in love with the farmer’s market at Union Sq too! And that looks divine.

  • Dishininthekitchen

    Marc, THANK YOU for sharing the “dry” curry idea…I have a container of left-over grilled veggies I wasn’t sure what to do with….now I know. Curry is the answer! You’ve inspired tonight’s veggie dish/dinner!

  • Trissa

    Great tip Marc! I remember my hubby used to buy me pastries right after work – ALL the time… only to find out that he would get them half price if he went 30 minutes before closing too! Great dish too looks packed with flavour.

  • Heather

    Ha! I am always on the lookout for good deals, too – I always hit the sale shelf at our local green market. I always buy all of the tomatoes, even when they’re bruised and about to turn, because I can turn them to sauce and can them. You could pickle some of those beans! Only needs a hot water bath, no pressure canning needed.

    I just made an African-style curry from leftover eggplant (too many in my CSA box) and plantains. Curry really is a great way to use up too much produce.

  • Rachel (S[d]OC)

    I agree that India is a place where they do vegetarianism right!

    I have a big bunch of farmer’s market green beans and wax beans sitting in my kitchen right now. I was wondering how I would cook them tonight. Maybe curry will be just the thing.

  • Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro

    A few weeks ago, I arrived a little late to my farmers’ market, and scored a bunch of 1/2 price lettuce. :-)

    Love what you did with your goods – and another idea to tuck away for the green beans growing in my garden!

    Happy Tuesday,


  • Nadia

    Thanks for the farmer’s market tips, will try them out. I make a Pakistani version of green beans curry.

    Your version looks fantastic, great flavors and so very vivrant. I’m sure any Indian would praise this recipe!

  • Pam @ Cooking world

    I like farmers market and love end of the day bargains. This curry as you said might not be authentic but it sure looks delicious and creative.

  • Mei Teng

    Beautiful curry dish.

  • Maameemoomoo

    No doubt it’d be delicious, authentic or not!

    ps : can stir fry these green beans with dried shrimps + minced meat too. i can polish the whole plate off like that, but better with rice 😉

  • Egloughman

    We made this last night and it was fantastic! Our refrigerator tends to be the leftover graveyard, but the bowl we served this in last night is now empty in the sink already.

  • Carla

    Green bean curry? That’s a new one to try! I admit when I have a ton of green beans, I usually resort to the same recipe – sauteed in oil with garlic, salt, and pepper. Next time, I’ll give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

  • Carolyn Jung

    Hah! It’s true — every Asian loves a deal. We can’t help ourselves. It’s in our blood. 😉

  • Kayla @ Let’s Live Wholesome

    Okay, now this looks simply delicious. I just found your blog, but will be swiftly adding with you my reader :-)

  • Lo

    I should’ve written this before, but my girlfriend and I actually made this dish last month and it was absolutely delicious. We added a little chicken in there and I accidentally forgot to add the yogurt at the end–oops! It’s definitely a new favorite. Thank you for sharing it 😀

  • Soos

    I had 2 pounds of green beans for the 2 of us. I just cleaned and trimmed the surplus and froze them. I look forward to trying your recipe!

  • Sommer J

    Will be trying this at my first dinner party! Looks gorgeous!

  • Estrella Sapir

    I followed this recipe and all the measurements exactly and the salt measurement is WAY off.  A tablespoon of kosher salt was far too much and made my curry almost unpalatable.  I spent a while adjusting quantities to accommodate for that, but you can avoid that hassle by choosing to SALT TO TASTE.  

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Sorry to hear this didn’t work out for you. Did you happen to use Morton brand Kosher salt? Apparently Morton’s has nearly the same salinity as table salt, so if you use Morton’s you’ll need to halve the amount of salt (see this post for more details Because of these inconsistencies between brands, I’m going to start giving quantities in table salt measurements so people can adjust to taste. I’ll also try to update all these old recipes, but with over 600, it’s going to take a while.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Sorry to hear this didn’t work out for you. Did you happen to use Morton brand Kosher salt? Apparently Morton’s has nearly the same salinity as table salt, so if you use Morton’s you’ll need to halve the amount of salt (see this post for more details Because of these inconsistencies between brands, I’m going to start giving quantities in table salt measurements so people can adjust to taste. I’ll also try to update all these old recipes, but with over 600, it’s going to take a while.

  • Sara Grady

    Killer recipe, so easy to throw together, beautiful to look at and so delicious. Kids and grandparents loved it! Thanks for sharing. 

  • Joanne Jastatt

    The recipe was great, but the salt was WAY too much – maybe .5 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon max instead. I used high quality sea salt.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Joanne, glad you liked it. Kosher salt (most brands except Morton’s) has half the salinity of many other salts. So if you’re using table salt or sea salt you need to halve the amount of salt. 

  • Alexis Caldwell

    Delicious! I did this recipe exactly as indicated at first and now I keep coming back to it with variations on the vegetables. Helped stem the tide of eggplant coming from my CSA this month.

  • Kortez

    This recipe is delicious. What do you recommend serving with it for a protein accompaniment?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      I’m glad to hear you liked it. Since this is a vegetarian recipe, I’m going to assume you’re looking for a vegetarian source of protein. While
      the green beans and dried coconut have some protein if you really want to give it a boost add some tofu and eat it with bread. You could also add chick peas, seitan, or tempeh.

      • Kortez

        Thanks! I think I’ll add tofu and chick peas. Yes, the recipe is outstanding. I really enjoy food from Southern India. I appreciate your bringing us this dish.


I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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