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Green Bean Raita

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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This inspired recipe comes from Moni Pillai, a wonderful cook and teacher of Indian food. If you have a glass lid, it's easier to see when the mustard seeds begin to pop. The chiles and curry leaves lend flavor to the raita but are not intended to be eaten whole; let your fellow diners know ahead of time that it's OK to fish them out.


  1. 1 package (16 ounces) frozen French-cut green beans
  2. 1 cup plain yogurt (low-fat is fine)
  3. 1 cup sour cream (low-fat is fine)
  4. 2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
  5. 2 small dried red chiles
  6. ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  7. 4 fresh curry leaves
  8. Salt to taste


  1. Place the frozen green beans in a medium saucepan. Top with a lid and steam green beans over low heat (no need to add water) until they become very soft. Transfer to a medium bowl and cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large measuring cup or medium bowl, mix together the yogurt and sour cream until blended.
  3. Break chiles in half and shake out all of the seeds; discard the seeds unless you like your raitas fiery. Leave the chiles in large pieces.
  4. In a small frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and cover with a lid. When the seeds begin to pop, add the chiles and curry leaves. Turn off the heat and stir for a couple seconds.
  5. Pour the spiced oil over the beans, add the yogurt-sour cream mixture, and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt.
  6. Cover and set aside until ready to serve. This is good served at room temperature or chilled.


Raita on the brain? Be sure to read Carrie Floyd's Kitchen Limbo on the pleasures of cooking Indian food.