- 1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 brown onion, thinly sliced into rounds
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 6 sprigs curry leaves
- 200g green beans, trimmed
- 150g Roman beans, trimmed and shredded
- 100g snake beans, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp lime zest, finely grated
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp each nigella and mustard seeds
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Place the rice and 1½ cups water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat, set aside to cool covered with the lid.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Toss the onion in the flour and add to the oil. Cook, turning for 3-4 minutes, or until dark brown. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside. Add the curry leaves in batches and cook for 30 seconds, or until crisp.
- Cook all the beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and refresh. Place the rice in a large bowl, add the beans, lime zest, coconut, nigella and mustard seeds and toss well to combine. Season.
- To make the dressing, combine the curry leaves, lime juice and oil in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the dressing and toss. Serve the salad topped with onions.
Beans are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables worldwide (traces of dried pods from beans have been found dating back at least 4,000 years). The most common varieties are tender green beans (thin and bright green in colour), also known as French beans and haricots verts; and broad beans (the shell is discarded and only the beans are eaten), also known as fava beans.
Flat beans, also known as Romano and helda beans, are tender and sweet when cooked. String beans, also known as snap beans, are slightly larger than green beans and have a tougher skin. Heirloom varieties are available in both yellow and purple. Snake beans, also known as long beans or Chinese long beans, are dark green in colour and – as the name suggests – longer than regular green beans. They are best chopped and added to stir fries.
Fresh beans are a source of vitamins A, K and C. The best way to cook beans to maintain a higher amount of vitamins is to steam or blanch them for a short period of time. They should be refreshed in iced water to stop the cooking or served immediately.