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srilankan long beans

Healthy, spicy long beans cooked in lemongrass, cinnamon, chilies and coconut for a perfect vegan lunch or dinner.


  • 250g long beans, cut into 2” pieces
  • 1 tomato, cut into wedges
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 pieces cinnamon stick
  • 1 medium onion, sliced lengthwise
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 1 hot green chili, slit in half lengthwise
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 long green stem lemongrass
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Healthy, spicy long beans cooked in lemongrass, cinnamon, chilies and coconut for a perfect vegan lunch or dinner.


  • 1. Grind lemongrass (only green part) and ¼ cup water. Strain and set aside.
  • 2. Heat oil in a wok. Add fenugreek seeds and cinnamon sticks and stir for ½ a minute.
  • 3. Add onions, garlic, slit green chili, and curry leaves. Stir continuously until onions become translucent, about 2 minutes. Add coriander and stir for ½ minute.
  • 4. Add the long beans, tomato, curry powder, turmeric, red chili powder, and salt, and mix well until beans are well coated with spices.
  • 5. Add the coconut milk, lower heat and allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  • 6. Add strained lemongrass, and simmer for 2-3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • 7. Do not overcook.

    Serves: 4
    Ingredients: 15
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 10-12 minutes

Critical Ingredients

Curry powder, green chilies and cinnamon give the dish its flavour along with coconut milk. Authentic Srilankan dishes contain Maldive fish flakes and rampe (pandanus leaf) but as these are not readily available – even in India – I have omitted them. Srilankan curry powder contains both lemongrass and cinnamon, which most common curry powders may not, so I have added them separately; try to keep these ingredients for flavor. If you skip the fenugreek, the flavor will not change much. Turmeric can also be skipped, and curry powder increased by the same amount. No green chili, or too lazy to slit one, skip it, and increase your red chili powder by ½ teaspoon.

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Anuja Kohli Mariwala

An engineer, home cook, Pilates instructor, Education Consultant and mother of four.

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