Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Bean & Zucchini Curry

Yes! Those are yellow beans from my garden! And zucchini, too. We came back from our trip to Ottawa to discover that all the zucchini plants had stopped sulking and were churning them out like widgets from the widget factory. We're going to be mighty sick of both beans and zucchini by the end of the summer (assuming they don't resume sulking), but right now we are very excited to have them.

The beans can be green or yellow (or purple; I don't care). I didn't add mushrooms OR chopped pepper, having neither on hand, but both would make good additions. I don't have any ripe tomatoes yet either, so I used some tomato sauce - we still have some from last year! - and that was good. Don't use a really thick, acidy spaghetti type tomato sauce, but otherwise any canned tomato stuff is fine. Uh, not ketchup, okay? A little chopped cilantro would definitely add a nice herbal note to this. Mine is still out in the garden bolting rapidly as I completely forgot to pick any until it was too late. Dang.

4 servings
1 hour prep time

Bean & Zucchini Curry

Make the Spice Blend:
2 teaspoons coriander seed
2 teaspoons fennel seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (OPTIONAL)

Toast the coriander, fennel, and cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and the black peppercorns in a dry skillet for 2 or 3 minutes over medium-high heat until fragrant, shaking or stirring the pan to keep them from scorching. Tip them out at once onto a plate to cool.

When they are cool, grind them and mix them with the turneric, salt, and a little cayenne if desired. Set aside.

Make the Curry:
2 medium zucchinis (500 grams or 1 pound)
3 cups chopped fresh green or yellow beans (250 grams or 1/2 pound)
1 large onion, with the greens if it has them
1 cup quartered button mushrooms (OPTIONAL)
1 sweet green, yellow or red pepper (OPTIONAL)
2 to 4 cloves of garlic
1" x 1" x 2" piece peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, or tomato sauce
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
chopped cilantro to garnish (OPTIONAL)

Wash and trim the zucchini, and cut them in slices, halved or quartered if the thickness of the zucchini warrants it. Wash, trim and chop the beans. Peel and dice the onion. Wash and trim the green onion top, if it has one, and chop it. Keep the greens seperate from the bulb of the onion. Clean and quarter the mushrooms, if using. Cut the stem and core from the pepper, and dice it, if using. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and mince the ginger. Peel and dice the tomato, if using.

Put the beans in a very large skillet with about 1/4 cup of water, and cook over medium-high heat until the beans are about half cooked and the water evaporated; about 3 or 4 minutes. Stir frequently.

Add the oil to the pan, as well as the zucchini pieces (and pepper pieces, if using) once it is hot. Mix well, and cook until the zucchini is softened and browned in spots. Stir frequently. Add the onion (mushrooms if using) and ginger, and cook for a minute or two longer, still stirring regularly.

Once everything is looking cooked down with nicely browned spots, add the garlic and the spice mixture. Continue cooking and stirring for another minute or two until well amalgamated and fragrant, then add the chopped tomatoes or whatever tomato substance you are adding. Mix well and simmer gently for about 10 to 15 minutes. At this point you can stir occasionally.

Garnish with a little chopped cilantro, if you like. (I totally meant to, but I forgot!) Serve with polenta, rice or noodles.


David Orr said...

I made this for my wife and I a couple of days ago. I added all the optional items ( including cayenne) and served with Basmati rice.

After just a couple of mouthfuls we both agreed it totally a keeper. The flavors are excellent. I just finish the last of it for lunch today.

Ferdzy said...

Thanks for letting me know, David! I'm glad to hear it.