If you love cumin, this dish will delight you. Like many recipes from India, this one strives to bring out maximum flavor in the spices—so it contains both ground and whole cumin seeds, one dry-toasted and the other cooked in oil. Serve over couscous or quinoa, with the delicious juicy sauce sopped up by the grain.
Farmer John’s Cookbook
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
1. Put 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 large 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 over-toast 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. 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.
4. 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).
5. 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.
6. Remove the chile pepper. Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper to taste.