If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen me making this sabzi for the last couple of months. In Urdu, sabzi refers to cooked vegetables. This sabzi is a classic one that my Mom makes, and it feels very grown-up for me to crave and cook it. I got these green beans, potatoes, and tomatoes from a local farm, which made me all the happier.
I think the essential technique here is the process of incorporating the vegetables with the spices. It requires you to stand over the stove for the first part of the recipe, fastidiously mixing the ingredients with a wooden spoon. Some may find it tedious, but I love adding each vegetable and watching it come together. The spices bloom, and they ultimately permeate the green beans and potatoes. It’s crucial to mastering the flavour.
green beans and potato sabzi (gf + v)
olive oil – about 4 tbsps
1 small bag of green beans (355g)
3 medium yellow potatoes
2 vine-ripened or roma tomatoes,
chopped 2 cloves of garlic,minced
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp paprika
¼-½ tsp red chilli (optional)
1 tsp kosher salt (more to taste)
1/8 tsp of garam masala (optional)
a handful of coriander or mint
Step 1: Start by prepping your veggies. Trim the ends of the green beans and slice into thirds. Next, peel the potatoes and slice each into 4 large wedges; cut the wedges widthwise into ¼ inch thick pieces.
Step 2: Heat a medium-size saucepan on medium-low heat and add enough olive oil to layer the bottom. Add the garlic and gently sauté for about a minute. Before it starts to brown, add the green beans and turn up the heat to medium. Toss the green beans in the garlic and oil, and then add the turmeric, cumin, paprika, and red chilli (optional). The oil will turn a deep red-gold as you sauté the green beans with the spices – do this for about 3 minutes.
Step 3: Add the potatoes, using your spoon to coax the spices onto the potatoes. Add the salt and tip in the tomatoes, making sure to include the juices. Turn the heat to medium-high and sauté everything together for at least 5 minutes, until your tomatoes start to break down and release their juices.
Step 4: Add 5 tbsp of hot water, turn the heat to medium-low, and cover. Let it simmer for 20-25 minutes, till the potatoes are fork-tender and the green beans have turned army green and can be easily pierced with a knife. Check on your sabzi every 10-ish minutes, giving it a gentle toss. If you feel the vegetables are getting too dry before being fully cooked, add a couple more tablespoons of water.
Step 5: Once the vegetables are cooked through, taste for salt. Add the garam masala (optional) and mix through for a minute. Turn off the heat and add a generous shower of chopped coriander or mint. Serve with rice, roti, or naan. You can also have it plain with greens or a bowl of lentils.
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