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Green beans with chunks of tomato served over rice on a white plate with a fork

Can you really have green beans as a main dish? That was my big question going into this recipe. It’s not just a veggie main dish, it’s a green veggie main dish. Whoa. I wasn’t the only skeptical one in my household.

I went into it full of inspiration and enthusiasm. I was not disappointed. It was easy to make and had a ton of flavor to it. Seriously, this is like a 15 minute meal! I finished the veggies before my rice was cooked. The flavor combination is inspired by Indonesian curries. What? There’s no curry listed in the ingredients? Curry is just a combination of spices. Curries are eaten by millions if not billions of people. Asia, Africa, India and beyond. There are entire sections of the world that eat vegetarian diets, too, and curries are a part of their food culture. A curry veggie dish is perfect. It’s delicious, it is healthy, and, oh my goodness, it is even vegan! I know, right? I don’t plan on going vegan anytime soon, but I appreciate their ability to put out really healthy stuff. So go ahead, eat veggies as your main dish and love it!

Green beans with chunks of tomato served over rice on a white plate

How to steam vegetables:   Steaming vegetables is a healthy way to cook vegetables. It requires no additional fats and the steaming process helps the vegetable itself to retain more nutrients and flavor.  There are a few different methods you can use.  

  1. Steamer   There is an actual specialized kitchen appliance you can buy called a steamer. It has a base, a steaming basket, and a lid. You just fill the base with a couple inches of water, put the veggies in the basket that fits over the base, put the lid on, heat the water to simmering, and steam away.  
  2. Makeshift Steamer   A makeshift steamer can be made using a pot, a colander, and a lid that at least somewhat fits. You’d put an inch or two of water in the pot and then put the colander over it. The colander should be able to fit over the pot without touching the water in the base. Then cover it with a lid. It doesn’t have to be a prefect fit. Just as long as it traps most of the steam inside.  
  3. Pan   The pan method isn’t perfect, but it does work. Pick a saucepan that is big enough to fit all your veggies in it. Put a half inch of water in the bottom and bring it to a boil. Add in your veggies, put the lid on, and reduce the heat to low so it just simmers. The water will create enough steam to cook the vegetables, but the veggies that actually touch the water might get a little soggy or overcooked.  
  4. Microwave   Use a microwave safe bowl and just put a little bit of water in to cover the bottom of it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke a couple holes in it to allow some steam to escape. Microwave until desired done-ness is reached.

Green beans with chunks of tomato served over rice on a white plate
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans trimmed and snapped in half
  • 1 onion cut into quarters
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 inches lemon grass optional
  • 2 roma tomatoes diced
Instructions
  • Place the green beans in a steamer, makeshift steamer, or steam them in a pan. Cook until desired done-ness is reached (tender crisp, or tender). See cooking lesson below for more steaming info.
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor (or blender) combine the onion, garlic cloves, cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt, and red pepper flakes. Puree into a paste.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the onion spice paste and roast for about a minute. Add in the vegetable stock and lemon grass (optional) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the tomatoes and cooked green beans. Stir to combine. Serve over rice.
Notes
Course: Side
Cuisine: indonesian
Keyword: Indonesian Curried Green Beans
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Brad
April 9, 2020 5:25 am

I just cooked this for the first time and I loved it. Quick, simple and so tatsty.

February 20, 2016 10:45 am

Maybe Indian instead of Indonesian?

Jozef

February 20, 2016 11:54 am
Reply to  Bert

It's very much an Indonesia-style curry rather than one from India. Very different cuisines.

September 3, 2013 3:41 am

Curry is one of my favorite spices. This sounds really tasty!

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