• Yield: Serves 4

  • Time: 20 minutes total

This is a quick stir fry that’s packed with flavor, thanks to fresh and dried chilies, lots of onions, and ginger. Have everything ready to go and make the beans when you’re ready to serve them. They are at their best when eaten immediately. You can use regular green beans for this recipe instead of the thinner French beans, but you may have to cook them for a few minutes longer. Okra, broccoli, and cauliflower are also excellent prepared in this fashion.


  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 3/4 pound haricots verts (French green beans), trimmed on both ends and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1/4 cup canola oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow onions

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh Thai green chili

  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Rasika: Flavors of India by Ashok Bajaj, Vikram Sunderam and David Hagedorn


1. Set up a large bowl of ice and water. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Stir 2 tablespoons of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the turmeric. Add the beans and cook until crisp- tender but still bright green, about 4 minutes. Drain the beans and submerge them in the ice water, stirring until they’re cooled. Remove any ice floating in the bowl before draining the beans. Blot the beans on paper towels.

2. In the same pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the cumin seeds and let them crackle. Stir in the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are dark brown, about 10 minutes.

3. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the ginger, green chili, chili flkaes, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon turmeric and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the beans and lemon juice and cook until the beans are warmed through.

Recipe preprinted with permission from Rasika: Flavors of India by Ashok Baja, Vikram Sunderam, and David Hagedorn. Copyright 2017 Ecco.