The Lunch Box Movie and Spiced Green Beans

the lunch box

Indian food is scarce in Santa Barbara. My kids really haven’t had much exposure to Indian cuisine. Enter the enchanting The Lunch Box, a movie about the lunch delivery system in India — suddenly, I had a very interested brood.

If you’ve seen this amazing and dear movie you know what I’m talking about. Those looking for a great culinary/love story to watch over the weekend…you can thank me later. Warning: It’s subtitled. I told my girls (ages 9 and 11) if they watched with us it would count as their reading homework for the night. Two-for-one win all around.

spiced green beans

As the beautiful, female lead dishes out aromatic sides of green beans drenched with what looks like tomatoes, ginger and turmeric (or was it tamarind?) we were all salivating. My kids don’t really even love green beans, or anything “too mixed together.” However, the next day they insisted I try a similar recipe, “Mom, make The Lunch Box green beans.”

Using what was on hand in my pantry, I’m sure I missed the mark on a full-on Indian spiced green bean. Regardless, this interpretation is delicious. As I type out this recipe I’m trying hard not to eat the entire plate.

spiced green beans

It’s incredible how one movie has expanded our dinner repertoire. I’ve now loaded my pantry with Indian spices and branching out for family meals. We’ve been inspired to have a deeper appreciation for these fragrant and new tastes. We always circle back to The Lunch Box, with my youngest daughter protesting the end of the film — you’ll just have to watch it to know what I mean and soon you will be craving drenched green beans, too. Better yet, make up a batch of these to enjoy with those subtitles.

I spied haricot vert at the farmers market, too.  McGrath Family Farm sells them in three colors.

I spied haricot verts at the farmers market this weekend. McGrath Family Farm sells them in three different colors.

About the recipe:  I prefer the thinnest, most delicate green beans for quick cooking. I spied some at Trader Joe’s recently — well, more I found them as I dug through all the bags to find the best. No shame in happy hunting! If you’ve got bigger beans, you’ll just need to cook them first for a few minutes in salty, boiling water prior to sautéing.

If your garden is still giving you tomatoes then use ’em up here! You can also try cherry tomatoes sliced in half.

Harvest Basket

Quick Spiced Green Beans

Serves 4

1 chile de arbol

1 tablespoon ghee

2 cloves garlic, grated

½ tsp fresh ginger, grated

½ tsp kosher salt

6-8 ounces Haricot Vert green beans (thin French beans)

2-3 small tomatoes, diced or 10 cherry tomatoes sliced in half

Splash of water

 

In a dry sauté pan on medium-high heat, add the chile and toast until fragrant. Add the ghee and swirl it around the pan. Follow with the ginger and garlic. Stir so that it’s all incorporated in the pan – just for about 30 seconds or so.  Next, add the green beans and tomatoes and toss all of the ingredients together making sure all of the beans are covered with the aromatics. Cook about one minute before covering the pan and reducing the heat to a simmer. Your beans will be cooked, but still crunchy in 4-5 minutes. Remove the chile pepper before serving and enjoy with basmati rice.

Fresh Ginger is also now at the Santa Barbara Famers market. Here's what was in my basket after my Saturday spree.

Here’s my loot from my farmers market spree on Saturday, check out that fresh ginger.

Share This

Facebook Google+ Twitter Pinterest E-mail



6 thoughts on “The Lunch Box Movie and Spiced Green Beans”

green beans are now on my farmers market list! Thank you for the yummy idea! Will let you know how miss picky pants likes them:)

I’m always looking for green bean recipes so thanks. And I have wanted to delve into Indian cuisine since I am really not familiar with it. Hard to improvise much because the spices are so different than what I am used to. So I bought a bunch of spices, got a cookbook, and have to start learning!

I am very surprised Indian food is not popular in Santa Barbara. If you are interested I teach Indian cooking classes in Camarillo once every month. Every Summer I teach farm to table classes, harvesting all the vegetables from my own kitchen garden, I also published two cookbooks if you are interested.

I love a good documentary so thank you! I’ll try to see it with the kids this weekend. We recently watched spinning plates which was good, too:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *