Green beans in a curried tomato sauce

Green beans: a vegetable I will take, or quite happily, leave. I never buy them and rarely order them if eating out. But as I was given some beans, freshly picked from an allotment, I thought I’d make the most of them by adapting a new Yotam Ottolenghi recipe I was recommended.

Yotam Ottolenghi has a talent to transform even the dullest of veggies into absolutely delicious dishes. I went to his restaurant in Islington for my birthday earlier this year and tasted a number of his small plates. Oh my! So many flavour sensations!

This simple recipe has converted what I once saw as a tasteless, rubbery vegetable into a soft, succulent meal protagonist complimented by a rich, flavoursome tomato sauce.

Green beans with rice


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g green beans, trimmed
  • 200g (half a can) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves 2


1. Pour the olive oil into a medium-sized frying pan or wok. Add the onion and fry for five minutes, until soft.

2. Add the garlic, cumin, cayenne, paprika and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Stir in the tomato puree and then the chopped tomatoes. Mix the spices and tomatoes together well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add the beans, stock and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, stir well and bring to the boil.

5. Pop a lid on top of the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the beans are soft and the sauce has thickened. Add some water – as and when – if the sauce becomes too thick.

6. Twenty minutes into the simmer, put some rice on to cook.

7. When the beans are ready, serve them in two large bowls with the rice. A dollop of creme fraiche and a green salad will accompany this dish nicely.

As easy as that.


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