RECIPE #377, DAY #544
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Snake Gourd Stir Fry”/”Padavalanga Thoran,” from somewhere on the internet, several years ago*
TIMING: 15 minutes
DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy
TOOLS: Wok and flat-sided wooden spoon
COOK TYPE: Stovetop
HEALTH: We’re on a kick lately, but there is just nothing wrong with serving this up with a protein and grain. And it helps that it’s so addictive you’ll want to eat more veggies than anything else.
EXPERIENCE: When I was in India, in Tamil Nadu, I mostly ate lunch with a very humble group of gals who ate almost the same thing every day: a tangy tamarind broth, rice, a lentil dal, and stir fried snake gourd. When I came home, I longed to recreate some of those tastes to share with those I love and also to taste those combinations again.
But where does one find snake gourd? I couldn’t locate it, even at the Asian markets. So what did I do? Modify the recipe to work with an American staple: green beans. It’s different, but it totally works.
NOTES: You can either use French green beans and cut them into 1-inch segments, or you can use a thicker green bean and slice it real thin so that it is almost a hot chutney. Good either way.
Although they look pretty, you are not meant to eat the curry leaves, or probably either the red chilies.
- Thinly slice 16 ounces French or standard green beans on the bias.
- Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a wok over high heat. Add the green beans and stir fry until tender. Salt and move to a large mortar with 1 minced green chile, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, and a pinch of cumin seed, than smash lightly with a pestle.
- Heat another 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil with 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and fry until the splutter. Add 2 dried red chilies and 3 curry leaves and stir until mustard seeds stop spluttering. Add the beans back in. Salt to taste. Serve.
Serve with an Indian entree–like Tandoori or a dal–rice, and a tamarind broth soup.
LEFTOVER IDEAS: This is fine leftover for a few days, either cold or re-heated. You could also mound it on top of an Indian soup.
*Recipe changed from the original.