The ‘re-doing’ work of our house has come close to its end. The invasive smell of paint, putty and ‘lambi’ is certainly not something I enjoy anymore. There was a time when as a child I found them very interesting and longed to dabble with a pot of wall paint. Not anymore! Twice, during the past couple of weeks I have had severe attacks of acidity due to these un-natural odors and not been able to attend work apart from bearing the physical discomfiture. Minor infractions in an otherwise blissful life.
Needless to say, food has been a quiet affair, simple and easy. Simple certainly, but far from boring. Sometime back Vera had suggested that I might like a vegan dish that she regularly made. She was right. I make this simple dish of green beans and potato quite often now. The first time I also garnished slivered and roasted almonds and realized there was no need to do that. The generous sprinkling of pepper and a pinch of nutmeg make it a rounded and tasty dish close to our traditional mezhukkupurrati. I roll it sometimes in a phulka or bhakri but it pairs up best with rice and rasam. If you are a South Indian, you would know what I mean. For us comfort food is just rice and rasam with a simple dry dish on the side.
I made some slight changes to the original recipe, basically only in the way the vegetables were cut. In the original recipe the beans were left uncut and the potatoes were cubed. I cut halved the beans and cut the potatoes into wedges, almost the same length as the beans. That way it appeals more to my aesthetic sense! Do give this a try. It will definitely ease your mornings because of the simplicity involved. The vegetables do not need to be chopped fine nor does it require any advance preparation.
Potato – 4, medium sized, cut into long wedges
Green string beans – 250g, left uncut. I cut them into 2 inch lengths.
Onion – 1, medium sized, sliced thin
Garlic – 5 or 6 pods, slightly crushed
Olive oil – As needed, about 3 tbsp.
Salt, pepper and nutmeg – As per taste
Mint leaves – 5 or 6, if preffered
Scrub potatoes well to remove grit. Peel if you would like. Cut into half lengthwise. Cut each half into thick wedges, as you would for baked potato wedges, since that is going to be the next step. Cook the potatoes in hot, simmering water for about 5 min. Drain and dry.
Pre-heat oven at 200 deg. C or 375 deg. F. Line with foil. Mix the potatoes with 2tbsps. of olive oil (not extra virgin). Toss a pinch of salt and pepper each, and toss well over the foil, taking care not to tear the foil. Bake for about 15 min (until golden). Season with pepper, salt and nutmeg to taste.
While the potatoes are baking, wash and string the green beans.
Bring just enough salted water to boil in a pot. Add the string beans and cook in simmering water for 5 to 10 min till the beans are just done and retain the colour. I like the crunch and colour in my vegetables.
Heat remaining olive oil in a pan, add onions and saute till lightly browned. Add smashed garlic, the cooked green beans, potato cubes and mint leaves, if using. Stir them together. Adjust seasoning as per taste and serve with soup, rice and rasam or roll it in a phulka.
It makes a light and refreshing side dish as well as a good appetizer for the veggie lover. When I returned home from office, I found that my daughter had polished off the left over dish with a dollop of rasam. See, it makes a great soup too!
I have been varying the size of the veggies if you look into the pictures. Sometimes I cube them or cut the wedges into halves. You can even retain the string beans full.
With this post, I also complete three years of food blogging and appreciation of food photography. It’s been good all along!