A Sri Lankan recipe for green bean curry with spiced coconut

A Sri Lankan recipe for green bean curry with spiced coconut

Earlier this year we planted two runner bean plants, for most of the year they grew slowly, inching up their bamboo supports. It was only after returning home from our summer holiday in late August, we were welcomed back with a bounty of beans. We have had two harvests from our crop, and there is more to come. With our second harvest, I have decided to make this Sri Lankan recipe for green bean curry with spiced coconut.

A quick and easy Sri Lankan recipe for green bean curry with spiced coconut

This Sri Lankan recipe for green bean and spiced coconut curry is quick and easy to make. I eat it as a side dish alongside a main curry (works well with a lamb or chicken curry) and a dhal.

There is something wonderful about eating one’s homegrown produce. The vegetables seem to taste better. They are more nutritious. I am saving on my grocery bill, and food miles. And there’s that nice smug feeling that I am doing my bit for the planet.

I can’t take credit for the nurturing of this crop. That’s down to King on the Mountains (he has the green fingers). But I will take credit for the cooking – thank you very much!

Sri Lankan recipe for green bean curry and spiced coconut curry

A quick and easy Sri Lankan recipe for green bean curry with spiced coconut

  • Author: Tooting Mama
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people
  • Category: Side dish
  • Cuisine: Sri Lankan


  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 crushed dried chilli
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • fresh ginger, finely chopped (about an inch)
  • a generous pinch of curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp Maldive fish flakes
  • 300 grammes green beans (sliced 2cm diagonals)
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a small frying pan heat the dried spices including the dried chilli.
  2. Once the spices release their fragrance and start to pop, take off the heat.
  3. Pour the spices into a pestle and mortar and grind into a fine powder, then set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in medium-sized frying pan, before adding the onion, garlic, ginger, curry leaves and Maldive fish.
  5. Heat gently for around two minutes until the onions start to become translucent. Stir continually so the ginger and garlic doesn’t burn.
  6. Now add the green beans and keep turning the mixture to coat the beans with the onions, garlic and ginger.
  7. Add the freshly ground spices followed by the coconut milk and turmeric.
  8. Keep stirring, the beans will start to cook and the coconut sauce will begin to thicken.
  9. Once the beans are tender take off the heat and serve immediately. Delicious with basmati rice and your main curry dish.


  • If you are vegetarian or vegan simply omit the Maldive fish flakes.

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