Long Beans in Coconut Masala

Long Beans are easy to cook and definitely easy to eat. Here’s a super simple recipe you can put together!

Long Beans are a popular green used in Asian food, especially when preparing malay or chinese food. In Indian cooking, long beans have been adapted in many ways, but aren’t as frequently used.

The earliest memory I have of lengthy vegetable was being called one as a child, as I was (and still am) quite the gangly individual. Long beans are usually included in Sambal Goreng, a malay dish featuring tofu, tempeh and a modified sambal. It’s spicy and usually the preferred vegetable item on a plate of Nasi Padang. At least, it was in mine.

Crunchy Cooking

I was inspired to prepare this dish after having a similar one in Bali – long beans stir-fried with grated coconut and garlic. This was a fairly dry dish, with the long beans remaining almost salad-like and crunchy. The thing about these green beans is really the preference of crunch. Some like it fully cooked and limp, as it is usually presented in nasi padang stores, while others like it crunchy. In certain Thai restaurants, long beans are served raw as a relish on the side of a plate of Shrimp Paste Fried Rice.

I cooked the beans here for a total of 7 mins, before switching off the stove and leaving the pan covered. This will cook the beans further. I’m afraid cooking the beans this way is not avoidable, and the beans will eventually soften. If you’d like to prevent this from happening, then cook it for a shorter time instead of 7 mins, so that the residual heat will continue to cook it for a shorter time after that.

long beans in coconut masala


2 Tbsp Sunflower Oil
1 Medium Red Onion, peeled and thinly sliced into half-moons
1.5 Tsp Garam Masala
1.5 Tsp Chilli Powder
0.5 Tsp Turmeric Powder
100 g Grated White Coconut
350g Long beans, washed and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
Salt to taste


In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion slices and allow them to cook in the hot oil till they become soft and translucent. Then add the powdered spices and cook them so that the onions become dark and almost burnished with the deep colour of the spices.

Then, add the grated coconut. Saute in the pan and let the coconut bits cook. This will take about 2 minutes. Keep the contents of the pan moving around, you don’t want the spices to burn. Then, add the green beans and enough salt, continue to cook the greens.

You can cover and let the beans cook after 2 minutes, then remove at around the 3 minute mark to continue tossing the greens. At 7 minutes, switch off the stove, cover the pan and leave until ready to eat. Best served warm.

You can store this for eating another day, but be sure to place in the fridge or freezer. This recipe goes as a delicious side for Chicken Kurma and Jeera Rice. 

long beans coconut masala

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