Tag Archives: French beans

11Mar/16

Potato & French bean biryani

Potato & beans biryani

Here is a simpler variation on the traditional biryani I have posted earlier, with fewer spices and easier to put together. Remember to use good quality Basmati rice and boil for a few minutes only until el dente and don’t forget to soak it for at least 1 hour – I usually soak my rice for 2 hours

Ingredients

2 cups Basmati rice (200-225 grams) soaked for 1 hour at least
Approximately 300 grams French beans, chopped into half inch pieces
4 medium waxy potatoes (approx. 500 grams), cut into large chunks
2 medium onions, sliced
4 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced (can use ½ teaspoon powder or paste)
2 inch piece ginger, finely minced (can use ½ teaspoon powder or paste)
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons natural yogurt unsweetened (I like Sojade best available at As Nature Intended and Wholefoods)
2 tablespoons tomato puree (you can do omit the tomato puree, just add more yogurt)
Salt to taste

Potato & French bean biryani(1)

Method

  1. Fry the onion in 3 tablespoons oil until golden
  2. Add all the spices, yogurt and tomato puree and a little water
  3. Fry spices for about 5 minutes, adding tiny splashes of water to keep it from burning
  4. Add potatoes and beans and about 200ml of water
  5. Bring to boil, lower heat to lowest, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until potatoes are cooked but firm
  6. In a large saucepan, bring the rinsed rice to boil in lots of water – about 2 inches above the level of the rice. Boil for about 3-4 minutes checking to ensure the rice doesn’t overcook
  7. Strain the rice. In the saucepan add 1 tablespoon oil and about ¼ cup of water. Put half of the rice back into the pan
  8. Pour the potato and bean curry on to this and then top it with the remaining rice
  9. Cover the lid with a teacloth and steam on medium heat for 5 minutes, and then lower heat to lowest and steam for a further 20 minutes until the rice is steaming
  10. For more pictures and a step-by-step guide click here

Note:
Serve with either fried or baked tofu (use firm tofu). It’s all in the marinade with tofu and you can make a spicy one by mixing a little curry powder with yogurt, tomato puree and soya sauce or add a little something to sweeten it and some lemon juice  – bake and/or fry. If baking, put a little oil in a tray and coat the tofu by turning it over in the tray – bake for 20 minutes at 200C. Here is a link for crispy fried tofu.

All rice freezes very well – so make a large pot!

11Sep/15

Potatoes with green beans

Potatoes & green beans

This is a very simple, spicy and easy dish to prepare.  We all love potatoes and in this dish I have combined potatoes with green beans which hopefully you have grown yourself.  I have used French beans but runner beans should be fine too specially if you have a glut of runner beans in your veggie patch, by all means use them! 

Ingredients

4 large potatoes (waxy not floury), sliced into rounds
About 200e-250 grams of beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons Panchporan (this is a mix of 5 whole spices and you can buy it in Asian shops, online or at Waitrose – click HERE for link to Waitrose)
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons curry powder
Salt to taste

Method

  • Heat oil in the pan and add Panchporan
  • Brown the spices on low heat and when the seeds begin to pop take off the heat and add all the spices, salt and the vegetables
  • To this add a small amount of water, about 3 tablespoons, cover with a tight lid (preferably wrapped in a tea towel to keep the steam in) and cook on lowest heat for about 30 minutes.
  • The potatoes and beans should be cooked in this time and quite dry
04Jun/15

Brown rice, Puy lentils & French beans

Brown rice green beans(4)

Rushing off to Cornwall for a long weekend so no time to write much about this except that it is simple and very quick to put together.  The flash fry cherry tomatoes make a perfect addition and complete the meal.

Ingredients

300 grams brown Basmati rice
100 grams Puy lentils
200 grams French green beans, cut in two
2 medium onions, sliced (I used red onions)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 inch stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
700ml water
Garnish
Approx. 300 grams cherry or baby plum tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fruit vinegar (I used Bickerton’s Blackberry fruit vinegar)
2 tablespoons Aspall’s White Wine Vinegar
OR if you don’t have wine and fruit vinegar, you could substitute with 2 tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar
Handful of fresh mint leaves, torn (or 1 teaspoon dried mint)

Method

  • In a large, wide saucepan, fry the onions and cinnamon stick in oil for about 5 minutes until translucent and the edges just turning brown
  • Add turmeric and beans and fry for a minute or so

Brown rice green beans

  • Add rice, Puy lentils, salt and 700ml water

Brown rice green beans(3)

  • Bring to boil on high, lower heat and cover and simmer for approximately 20-25 minutes, stirring a couple of times to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan

 Garnish

  • Heat oil in a frying pan and add tomatoes
  • Fry for 2 minutes on high, add white wine vinegar and fruit vinegar and mint
  • Give it a stir or two and serve with rice