Thursday, 3 September 2009

Green Bean Salan

This salan (sauce base) known popularly as a 'curry' is so in my head that I don't use a recipe. I am so used to throwing in amounts of spices that I don't measure. It's one of those dishes, once you got the salan (sauce base) right, you can throw any vegetable to it. Check out my cauliflower salan for which I neglected to give a recipe too. This time though, I thought it would be unfair to show you an image of it whilst it was still cooking away and not give you something that would amount to a recipe. It's not the authentic way of cooking South Asian food, as I have changed it over the years to fit in with my personal style of cooking and working lifestyle, so I don't want anyone writing to me and complaining. This is the way I do it and it works well for me when I want a kick of spice in the form of South Asian food flavours. It is so much better than the common Indian take-away food. Honestly it is!
Oh I am full of excuses today. I have not given you a picture of what the final dish looked like either for two reason: first one who wants to look at limpy green beans - the above picture looks far more appealing don't you think? No, I guess you right, it is kinda garish in it's colours, anyway, the second reason was once cooked these limpy cooked green beans were consumed pretty quick. This is a dry salan, so we ate this with some naan bread.
Green Bean Salan
Serves 4
150g full fat butter or ghee
2 large onions, minced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 inch of ginger, grated or minced
1 teaspoon of salt or to taste
1 teaspoon chilli powder or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 fresh chillies, sliced
4 fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped
Vegetable of choice: I used about 250g green beans, topped and tailed
In a large wide pan, melt butter then add the minced onions, garlic and ginger and cook until transparent, add the spices and the fresh chillies and cook until the fat of the butter comes to the surface. Add the tomatoes and cook until well integrated. Then add your chosen vegetable, stir and turn heat down until the vegetables are well cooked. Keep stirring to stop the vegetables from sticking to the pan, when vegetables are cooked you can either just serve it as a dry salan; or add 150ml - 250ml water to the pot, bring to the boil, let it simmer until the flavours have infused into the water. Serve with rice.


  1. I know I have said this to you before but thank you, thank you and thank you again for putting the spark back in my cooking.

    I started to cook proper family size meals at the age of 14yrs but not because I was made too but because I really wanted too.

    Over the last 9+ months I have become really bored with my kitchen creations, the family hasn’t complained but I was really letting my own self down and wasn’t happy with what I was producing.

    So thanks and thanks again, I’m closely following your blog at the moment but I recently went and unearth my very beautiful cook books from the loft and will be start using them again.

    I look forward to trying this recipe over the weekend with my home grown beans.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this Kella, I am honestly deeply touched and quite lost for words. Just Thank you, it really, really means a lot to me.

    I hope you rediscover some lovely recipes in your 'unearthed cook books from the loft', I promise that you will see a lot of the recipes in a different light.

    I look forward to seeing some of your creations made from scratch with homegrown produce.

  3. This looks so good. I love green beans but they have a very short season here.


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