How to Make Green Beans Masala and Where It Comes From
Sometimes, eating healthy is a very tasty proposition. And when you eat healthy, you adjust your consciousness quickly — you think a bit more about where your food comes from, and how it’s affecting your body, and who or what producers are involved in the process. Raising the level of how conscious you are is one of the first steps to living a more thoughtful life. And when you’re thinking more about everything and everyone around you, well — you’re on your way to becoming a more complete person with a lot more to give the planet. Which is great.
Today, we look at a great recipe, Green Beans Masala, and talk about what’s in it, and where it comes from. While not a terribly difficult dish to make, green beans masala is long on flavor and quite healthy, especially if you’re looking for interesting ways to make vegetarian dining happen in your home. The ingredients consist of baby green beans, fresh ginger, onions, mustard, cumin, coriander seeds, and garam masala. Let’s look a bit closer at the dish, its recipe, and a bit of history too.
Cultural Information on Garam Masala
Garam masala, where the dish gets its name, is to western taste buds an exotic blend of spices that have been ground into a fine powder. As with this dish, it tends to be blended with other spices in the creation of specifically North Indian as well as South Asian cuisine. Garam generally translates to “hot” but refers to how intense the spices are (based on what is included in the mixture — boldness rather than the typical hotness associated with salsa or peppers), and masala means “mixture.” Pretty straightforward.
While the mixture of things like garam masala tends to be quite varied among regions, cultures, and even family units, one typical Indian version of the mixture might include: peppercorns (both black and white), cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds (both black and white), and cardamom pods (black, green, white), giving the whole concoction its pungent, spicy and aromatic flavor.
Recipes for Green Beans Masala
Here’s a vegan version adapted from Vegetarian Times; it’s a dish that can be prepared quite easily in a half hour or less. You’ll need:
- 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- ½ tsp. brown mustard seeds
- ¾ lb. green beans, trimmed and cut in half (about 4 cups)
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
To begin, combine the oil, garlic, garam masala spice, mustard seeds, your green beans, salt and 1/4 cup water in a large skillet. Cover, and simmer over medium-low heat 5 minutes, or until beans are just tender. Keeping the beans from getting soggy, and avoiding the tendency to overcook them can preserve greater nutritional value.
After a few minutes, pull the cover from the skillet and let the steam escape. While you are doing this, raise the heat on the stove to a medium high temperature. Cook the entire dish for another 3 minutes or so, and watch for the liquid to evaporate.
When that has happened, sauté the entire combination for about 3 minutes more, checking for the moment when the beans start to brown. This is when you’ll be done. Remove the green beans masala from the heat, stir in a bit of lemon juice, and get ready to enjoy a delicious meal or side dish.
Video on Making Green Beans Masala
Click the link below to watch a video version (with a slightly different approach too!) of the above recipe: