Delhi-Style Green Beans

delhi style green beans
Photo: Jake Stangel
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

This recipe for sem ki sabzi, courtesy of Madhur Jaffrey, flavors green beans with fresh ginger and fiery green chiles. Beans in India are generally fully cooked and rarely crisp. They absorb the spices much better this way. If you wish to steam the beans instead of parboiling them, do so for about 12 minutes.


  • Kosher salt

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons olive or peanut oil

  • Generous pinch of ground asafetida (available at Indian markets or

  • ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds

  • 1 to 3 fresh hot green chiles, such as bird's-eye, Indian long, or serrano, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger (from a 1-inch piece)

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and cook until bright green and tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.

  2. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high; add asafetida. A few seconds later, add cumin seeds and let sizzle a few seconds. Remove from heat; add chiles and ginger. Stir a few times, then return to medium-low heat.

  3. Add beans, 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste), and coriander. Cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 5 minutes more. Serve hot or room temperature.

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