Madhur Jaffrey's South Indian-Style Green Beans


  • Salt
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole brown or yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt to it and then the cut beans. Boil for 4 to 5 minutes or until the beans are just tender. Drain immediately and leave in the colander.

Pour the oil into a frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the cumin, mustard and sesame seeds. As soon as the seeds start popping, a matter of seconds, take the pan off the heat and stir in the beans. Put the pan back on the stove, turning the heat down to medium low. Stir to mix for about a minute, adding 1/2 teaspoon salt and the cayenne. Remove pan from heat.


This recipe comes from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka by Madhur Jaffrey (Random House, $40).