Weekend starts for us a bit earlier than usual, on Thursday evening. This is the dinner I prepared on last Thursday, while craving for a light but sumptuous vegan dinner. It looks elaborate but was not so time-consuming thanks to few useful kitchen appliances.
First I steamed the cut French beans over boiling brown rice water in the rice cooker. The only seasoning that went into the beans during the steaming phase was a rub of salt. While these two cooked, I pureed two large tomatoes in blender. In a pot, I warmed up oil and added pinch of asafoetida, 1-2 red chillies, three cloves of garlic (chopped), 10-12 curry leaves, a teaspoon of each mustard seeds and turmeric. As these all spluttered, I mixed in the tomato puree. Over the puree then I added 3 tbspoons of rasam spice powder. It is available in Indian stores. But if you can’t find it or not too keen on getting yet another spice mix, try a mix of regular curry powder along with some besan (gram flour). It won’t be rasam per se but any vegan tangy tomato option shall suffice in time of scarcity 🙂
Once the spiced puree started boiling, I added tamarind pulp, salt, and some more water. Five more minutes on stove till it reaches boiling point, and then is the time to take it off. The temptation to slurp it as a hot soup was immense. Yet I let it rest for more fulfilling experience later. As it rested, in another pan I prepared a tempering of hot oil, lots of chopped garlic, and a teaspoon or two of curry powder which I poured over the steamed French beans.
The result was tender yet spicy French beans that ypu see in the photo. These kinds of green sides really compliment the tangy tomato gravy, both in color and tastes. Together they form a simple-to-cook vegan meal that tastes like a treat with its variations of texture and flavors.