This is the simplest, yet most delicious way to cook sabzi (vegetables) that you might come across. I love the combination of green beans with potatoes with flavours of garlic and chili.
Growing up my mother used to make this humble sabzi. I remember eating it straight out of the pan. I would only have beans-aaloo cooked in this way. I don’t like them overloaded with masala or swimming in sauce. I like mine garlicy and spicy, cooked dry (bhuni-bhuni).
I take advantage of the frozen organic beans (pre washed and cut) that are easily available at any grocery store here in Germany (read below for details). It reduces the prep time and my sabzi is ready in no time. Another time saving trick is to keep the skin of potatoes on, which also provide you extra nutrients. Buy organic to avoid pesticide residue on potato skin.
What ingredients to buy and how to get their maximum health benefits?
Green Beans (French Beans/ Brechbohnen): For my recipe, I use frozen green beans. They are available by the name Brechbohnen and are stored in the freezer section where vegetables are kept. Buy pre-cut ones for convenience. Organic is the better choice. You can also use fresh ones.
Pictured below are two available brands from different grocery stores which work well for my recipe.
Potatoes: To get the most nutrients from potatoes buy organic and keep the skin on. Most of the nutrients in potatoes are packed in the skin and when we take it off, we remove the nutrients with it too. But the non-organic ones often have pesticide residues on their skin. I use the bio-Kartoffeln available at Aldi.
Garlic: I use standard garlic for my recipe. Always chop and let the garlic rest for about 10 minutes before you expose it to heat. When exposed to air, garlic develops a compound named Allicin which helps to retain its nutrients even when it is exposed to a high temperature.
Dried Kashmiri Red Chili: I prefer using dried kashmiri red chili rather than the standard red chili as it is milder in flavor. So you can add a few pieces without worrying that your sabzi will be too spicy. You can find it at any Indian grocery store. If it is not easily available to you, you can substitute it with any other dried red chili or chili flakes.
Turmeric powder: You can find turmeric powder (kurkuma-gemahlen) at any Indian store. The bio one from Aldi has a great quality too. Turmeric has many anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps to keep your immune system in check.
Salt: Using mineral salt is a healthier option than using regular table salt.
Olive oil: Olive oil is one of the healthiest oil. It contains a good amount of anti-oxidants and boosts heart health.
How to serve this sabzi?
Although there is no hard and fast rule of how to serve it and it absolutely depends upon your preference whether you like it as a side to daal chawal, eat it on its own or serve it with chapati. I like mine with a side of sliced cucumber and onion, some dahi (greek yogurt) and multi-grain chapati (recipe here).
Simple Beans Aloo Sabzi
- 3 big or 5 medium cloves of garlic
- 2-3 dried kashmiri red chilies (more if you prefer extra spicy)
- 3 medium (350 grams) potatoes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2½ cups (350 grams) green beans (fresh or frozen)
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Peel and finely chop garlic. Cut the dried kashmiri chili in small pieces. Wash thoroughly and dice the potatoes in small pieces (keep the skin on for nutrients). (If using fresh green beans, wash and trim the ends, then cut into 3-4 cm pieces.)
- Heat a pan on medium heat. Add the chopped garlic. Saute for 1 minute.
- Add the dried red chili and saute until garlic turns brown (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add the frozen beans (direct from freezer, no need to thaw), turmeric powder and salt. Saute for 2 minutes. (if using fresh beans, add them along with potatoes)
- Add the potatoes and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes on medium low heat. Stir after 10 minutes of cooking. If the sabzi looks too dry and sticks on the bottom, add about ¼ cup of water.
- When the potatoes are tender, the sabzi is done. It should be totally dry at this point. If there is any water left increase the heat and cook until all liquid is evaporated.
- Serve with multi-grain chapati , sliced cucumber, onion and yogurt.