I recently read a book called “The 12 Most Common Mistakes of Parenting.” After reading the first few mistakes, I was kindly assured by the author that I’m a horrible parent, and my kids are going to be horrible people when they grow up. (At least, that’s how I felt after I finished reading this wonderful piece of literature!)
According to this book, my kids are out of control and I have no hope of regaining control! I mean seriously – how much can you control an 8yr old, 7yr old and 4yr old? Maybe I need to read more “Chaos Control” type of books? I’m up for suggestions, by the way!
Well one thing is for sure, my kids might be the cause of WW3 when they grow up, BUT I’m a proud parent of the “kids eating greens” club. Now, that is one culinary achievement I’m proud of! So far, they’ve been pretty good about eating many of the green veggies like spinach, broccoli, green peppers, celery, lettuce, cucumbers, etc. And recently, they’ve been liking green beans.
Personally, I like green beans a lot. They can be made into traditional casseroles, sautéed with garlic/ginger, blanched, baked, roasted, boiled, etc. The possibilities are endless, depending on what you’re in the mood for. But, when you’re cooking for a family with little kids – I think the level of stress increases. Most adults are careful about what they say in their critiques. Kids on the other hand, are brutally honest and loud!
This week, I made a spicy green bean curry for dinner and went to the table ready for combat from all their comments of “I don’t like this mom.” ” This sucks!” “Please don’t ever make this again mom!” And my daughters favorite line, “Actually, I didn’t want to hurt your feelings when you were cooking, but now I wanted to tell you I don’t like it.” (LOL) :O)
But, guess what happened instead? They ate up all the green been curry and loved it! AND, I got compliments by these little people! Now, that is “good parenting” after all! Haha!
So since I’m on a successful dinner high this week, I wanted to share the recipe with you. It’s new for my kids, but actually a recipe that was part of my family growing up. This curry can be eaten with naan, pita, or any type of flatbread. Or, alone as a side dish – similar to a traditional green been casserole, but without the cream.
GREEN BEAN CURRY (Indian Style French Cut Green Beans)
- 20oz. bag of frozen French-Cut green beans
- 1 large vine-ripe tomato chopped in to large chunks (vine-ripe gives the curry a better taste)
- 1.5 Tbsp. of garlic paste
- 1 tsp of carom seeds (Ajwain)
- 1.5 Tbsp. of Jaggery (Indian style brown sugar) OR dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp of Turmeric
- 1.5 Tbsp. of Ground Cumin/Coriander seed (powder is fine too)
- 1/2 tsp of red chili powder (add more if you want spicier)
- 2 tsp of salt (add more if desired)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or coriander
- 1/4 cup of oil (any type preferred except Olive oil)
- In a medium-sized pot and on medium heat, add your oil and when hot, add the carom seeds and allow to fry in pot for about 1-2 minutes till a little dark in color, but do not allow to scald. (This step allows the oil to get flavored)
- Once carom seeds are darker in color, add the tomatoes, garlic, ground cumin/coriander seed, turmeric, salt, red chili powder and jiggery and mix together well, allowing it to cook for about 2-3 minutes to fully incorporate. (The large chunks of tomato should start to cook down. If not, feel free to smash a bit.)
- Once the masala is cooked, add your green beans and mix everything together well. Decrease heat to lower setting, cover and allow to cook for about 15 minutes, or until the green beans are soft and darker green in color.
- Once cooked, increase heat and allow to cook another 5 minutes without cover on pot. This will let some of the water burn off, and allow the jiggery to caramelize a bit around the green beans.
- Add more salt and chili if desired. Sprinkle parsley/coriander on top before serving.
Enjoy with any of your meat dishes, or as a main meal. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again….Indian Vegetarian foods are made with so much seasoning and flavor that a lot of the time, you won’t miss eating meats. These veggie dishes can stand on their own and usually won’t disappoint or keep you hungry!
I hope you enjoy this dish. Personally, I love eating it with hot wheat rotis and plain yogurt. It has a sweet, salty and spicy flavor that just really hits the spot. And, because it doesn’t have a lot of complicated ingredients, you can play around with this recipe and add more or less of each ingredient to make it your own!
Let me know what you think, if you get a chance to make it one day!
Here’s to my “book confirmed” bad parenting skills but happy little diners!