Instead of green beans, you could make this with another vegetable cut into bite-size pieces—try zucchini or cabbage, two of my favorites.
I love this recipe, it's a great side dish for the Chicken Tikka Masala. I have to go to a better grocery store to find the unsweetened shredded coconut- it's usually with frozen fruit. This last time I made it with the sweetened coconut sold for baking, because that's my usual grocery store had, and it wasn't too bad- of course it made the dish a bit sweet, but it kind of worked with all the other savory flavors. I've made it with the French haricots vert, and I kind of prefer those because they cook quickly.
This was probably my favorite dish of a recently made Indian dinner. It was extremely simple to make and very delicious. The colors were so pretty. I didn't make any changes to the recipe, but might try again with different vegetables as suggested.
This recipe definitely goes into my favorites side dish file! We will make this many times this summer when the green bean crop comes in and we are looking for innovative ways to eat the harvest. However, the mustard seeds all popped out of the pan and littered the entire kitchen, so don't know what they would have added to the flavor. The unsweetened coconut was not a strong flavor, but I suspect would be missed if omitted. The curry leaves really add a lot of authentic Indian flavor. I buy them online at http://www.iShopIndian.com and keep them in the freezer. Be warned that when using frozen curry leaves you will need to use twice the amount of fresh that the recipe calls for and they will pop and splatter when added to hot oil. Definitely cut the salt down to half the amount called for in this recipe, add at the end, and stir dish until well blended.
This recipe was the surprise hit of an Indian dinner party. The spices are delicious, and the beans and coconut are really great together. Definitely use curry leaves if you can find them. I can't always easily find them, so I store them in the freezer. And definitely take the advice to salt at the end rather than during the cooking process.
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