This green beans dish is different to the traditional curried beans that is usually made in Sri Lanka. It doesn't include any coconut milk and is cooked quickly, literally in a few minutes, so that the beans retain their crunch and vibrancy. The addition of dried shrimp, called kooni in Sinhala, adds a salty, umami taste of the sea, and truly compliments the heat from the spices. I often add capsicum/banana peppers and green chilies in to this dish too, to add a different texture and another dimension of chili.
This dish uses the classic 'themparaadu' style of cooking, which is similar to stir frying. A small amount of oil is used to fry the ingredients, which is referred to as "thel dhaala" in Sinhala, literally meaning 'to add oil'.
- 250g beans
- 1 medium onion
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic
- 10-15 curry leaves
- 30g dried shrimp
- 1 -2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1-2 tbsp chili flakes
-1 - 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Salt to taste
1. Slice and prepare the vegetables.
2. Wash and drain the dried shrimp.
3. Heat coconut oil and fry mustard seeds, chopped garlic, onion and curry leaves.
4. Add washed, drained dried shrimp and cook until any excess liquid has evaporated.
5. Stir in chili flakes, salt and lime juice.
6. Add sliced beans, mix well and cook for a 2-3 minutes, until the beans are just cooked and well coated in the chili-shrimp mixture. The beans should retain their colour and crunch.
7. Best served with hot rice and coconut sambol!