Indian Style Green Beans

A quick and easy one today. This green bean recipes comes courtesy of my mom. My favorite way to eat green beans has always been stir-fried with garlic, then steamed for a few minutes with soy sauce and rice vinegar.  But even that gets boring after awhile and this recipe is a a great savior in that regard.  The spices play in the background, never overwhelming your taste buds like some other Indian dishes can. A squeeze of lemon adds brightness and it’s so much fun to listen to those mustard seeds pop in the hot oil!

The only point where mom and I disagree is texture. I like my beans crisp, fresh, crunchy, just warmed through. A satisfying snap when you bite into each one. Mom prefers a soft, limp bean that barely needs chewing. I tend to think they’re soggy and mushy, but I’m not gonna knock it because the flavors are that good. They will seduce you no matter how long you steam them.

Short list of ingredients, minimal prep time, and exotic flavors — what else could you ask for in a side dish? P.S. Mustard seeds are missing from this photo because I forgot to measure them out until I was already cooking. Woops.

Indian Style Green Beans

serves 4 as a side

1 teaspoon mustard seeds (yellow or black)
1/2 cup carrot, sliced into rounds or half moons
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb green beans, cut into thirds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Cilantro for garnish (optional)

  1. Heat a glug of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and mix them around until they start to pop. Add carrot and onion and stir fry for 5 minutes.
  2. Add green beans, coriander, ginger, and salt. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook 4 minutes for very crunchy beans or 10 minutes for soft beans or anywhere in between.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, add garnish and serve immediately.
Leave a comment


  1. These look great! I got a ton of greenbeans from my CSA share and needed some new ideas, so this is perfect. Thank you!

    • Of course! I am always looking for inspiration for new dishes and am so glad I could provide it to somebody else 🙂

  2. I love Indian flavors…I’ll have to try this.

  3. Ummm nice. I would also throw in some peas and cauliflower and have it with some Basmati rice. 🙂

    • That’s a great idea! I got some brown Basmati from Trader Joe’s and it’s so delicious and healthy, too!

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