I’ve been foraging deep into my spice rack, this past week – possibly inspired by the rainbow colours of Robyn aprons that we’ve been working on, and certainly nudged by the hot weather, and a desire for light, vibrant food.
This dish is a hybrid of a recipe from Chetna’s Healthy Indian. I’ve tossed in paneer, first soaked in boiling water to ensure the curd cheese stays soft, then scattered with golden turmeric and finally toasted in coconut oil. It is utterly delicious and super satisfying, standing its ground as a plant based main. Serve with Robyn Raita and wholegrain chapati.
350g fine green beans, halved
1 onion, finely sliced
A good handful of desiccated coconut, toasted
2 tsp black mustard seeds
20 curry leaves
1 tsp minced garlic, (2-3 cloves)
225g paneer, diced and soaked in hot water
1-2 tsp ground turmeric
Coconut oil to fry
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season
Place the diced paneer into a small bowl and cover with recently boiled, hot water. The paneer needs to soak for at least five minutes, and this keeps the curd cheese soft and buoyant, during frying.
Set a large pan of salted water to boil.
Meanwhile, heat a tbsp of coconut oil in a high sided pan over a medium flame. Once hot, tip in the mustard seeds and listen to the crackle and pop – this is the seeds releasing their fragrant oils. Add the sliced onions and curry leaves and give it a good stir. Pop on a lid, reduce the heat and allow to cook for five minutes or so, softening the onions.
Once the salted water is boiling in your pan, throw in the halved green beans and boil for 3-4 minutes, until tender crisp and still bright green. Drain and rinse the beans, under cold running water, and set to one side.
By now the onions will be soft. Remove from the heat, whilst you focus on the paneer.
Drain the paneer and blot dry with kitchen roll. Season with salt and tumble in ground turmeric.
Heat a tbsp of coconut oil in a non-stick pan, and once hot, tip in the paneer. Fry for five minutes, shaking the pan to ensure the paneer gets cooked and golden on all sides.
When the paneer is nearly done, return the onion pan to the heat. Add the drained beans and toasted desiccated coconut and stir through, cooking for just a minute or so, to combine the flavours and level the heat. Add the paneer to the pan and gently stir through.
Serve with minty raita and wholegrain chapatti.