I bought a mature coconut the other day from the local supermarket and was totally inspired. From one coconut I made coconut basmati rice, coconut shrimp curry AND this delicious toasted coconut bean dish. All these dishes and flavors are extremely influenced by my travels in the South of india. The coconut adds a rich nutty flavor and by toasting it in the unrefined coconut oil you really get that coconut flavor all throughout the dish.
I took the coconut, cracked it, removed the white meat (this is hard to do, but totally worth the work) and peeled (with a peeler) the brown skin off. I ground up the coconut meat (in a blender) and added in 2 cups of boiled water. I then squeezed it aggressively through a cheesecloth and got 2 cups of incredibly delicious coconut milk out of it.
I then used the shredded meat that was left in the cheesecloth for this bean dish. If you are not in the mood to fuss around with a whole coconut, then just buy unsweetend dried coconut
- 1 tablespoon of safflower oil- can use vegetable or canola as well
- 2 lb string beans- cut and cleaned
- 2 tbls mustard seeds
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbls ginger, finely chopped
- 4 curry leaves (optional)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 serrano chili- finely sliced
- 1/2 cup water
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1/2 lime squeezed
- Cilantro to garnish- finely chopped
- 1 cup toasted coconut (recipe follows)
1. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and toast the mustard seeds, when they start to pop add in the garlic, chili and the ginger, sauté for 5-10 seconds and then place in the beans with the turmeric and toss. Add in the water and cover with a lid. Let cook for 5 minutes on medium heat until the beans are just cooked (you still want them to have a crunchy bite), remove the lid and season with salt and squeeze over the lime, toss and check for seasoning. Turn off the heat and add in the toasted coconut, garnish with the cilantro and serve immediately.
- 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
- 1 large pinch of kosher salt
- 2 large pinches of sugar (I like unrefined)
1. In a pan heat up the oil, add in the coconut and toss. It toasts up quickly, so keep mixing. Add in the sugar and salt and keep on medium heat, tossing until light brown and nutty. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool on the side.