This is a simple curry to be served with rice, pickles, and chutneys.
The green beans in Sri Lanka are cut on a steep diagonal at ¼-intervals. Alternatively, cut them crosswise at 1-inch intervals.
1 medium sweet potato (about ½ pound), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
1 cup chopped shallots/ onion, or leeks
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
3 small hot green chiles, cut crosswise
12 oz green beans, cut as above
2-4 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 cup water or broth
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 ½ teaspoons salt
Juice of 1 lime
In a medium pot cover the potatoes with enough water to cover them well, Bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are almost done but still hold their shape well (~5 min).
Put the oil in a large saute pan and set on medium-high When hot, put in the shallots/red onion/leeks, garlic, ginger, and green chiles. Saute 2-3 minutes. Add the green beans and saute for another minute. Add the curry powder and stir. Add the coconut milk (shake can before using), 1 cup of water/broth, turmeric, cinnamon stick, salt, and sweet potatoes. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to medium and cook ~15 minutes, or until the beans are just tender. Add the lime juice and stir it in. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve.
Frozen green beans can be used in this recipe with good results, but if used then only cook for 5 min after adding them to the pan.
I’ve used commercially prepared curry powder for this recipe, but if you want to be completely authentic the recipe for the curry powder called for in this recipe is below. If making your own curry then I suggest using the full amount called for in the recipe as it is a mild curry.
I use the Hungarian yellow peppers I grow in my garden instead of the ones called for in this recipe. These are usually available in local supermarkets if you want to use them. They are generally milder than the chillies called for in the recipe.
Potatoes can be substituted for the sweet potatoes
Sri Lankan Raw Curry Powder
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
3 whole sprigs fresh curry leaves (~60)
1 tablespoon unsweetened, dry coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons dry rice
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
Preheat the oven to 150o F or the lowest temperature setting. Place all ingredients on a baking sheet and put in oven for 1 hr. Remove from oven and cool. Grind in a spice grinder and store in a tightly lidded jar.
If you can’t find curry leaves (I don’t know of any local source) substitute cilantro leaves.