Green Beans and Tomatoes with Cumin, Garlic, and Ginger

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March 29, 2017

Pungent Green Beans and Tomatoes with Cumin, Garlic, and Ginger


10 cloves garlic, smashed

1 piece ginger (about 1 inch long), peeled, chopped

1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup mild-flavored vegetable oil

2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds

1 whole dried red chile pepper (optional)

2–4 fresh tomatoes, stems removed, peeled, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 1/2 pounds green beans, cut in half (about 8 cups)

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

freshly ground black pepper


1Put the garlic, ginger, and 1/2 cup of the stock in a blender or a food processor; process until a smooth paste forms.

2 Place a large wok (or pot) over medium heat. When the wok is hot, add the ground cumin and toast it just until it is fragrant. (This will take only a few seconds—be very careful not to overtoast it, as it can burn quickly). Immediately scrape the cumin onto a small dish and set aside.

3 Quickly wipe the wok with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove any remaining spice. Return the wok to the heat; add the oil, let it heat up for about 20 seconds and then add the whole cumin seeds.

4 After 5 seconds, add the dried chile pepper. After another 25 seconds (30 seconds total for the seeds, with or without the chile), add the ginger-garlic paste. Cook and stir the ingredients for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and coriander. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

5 Add the green beans, salt, and the remaining stock. Stir the ingredients until they come to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer, stirring once or twice, until the beans are tender, 6 to 8 minutes (or even less time for just-picked green beans).

6 Remove the cover from the wok. Stir in the lemon juice and the toasted ground cumin. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has been cooked off. Remove the wok from the heat.

7 Remove the chile pepper. Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper to taste.