Pakistani Food Recipes/ vegetarian

Green Beans Sabzi my FAVOURITE way!

a white plate with lightly charred green beans
Jump to the BEST Green Beans Sabzi Recipe

We live in strange times don’t we? I have been thinking a lot recently about responsible or mindful consumption from the perspective of climate change and now my lens has shifted significantly. I think about how ironic it is that countries where we are hoarding groceries are the ones where we are most likely to throw them away. Am I faulting people for stocking up? No. I am not – all I am advocating is mindful consumption. You know what’s one way to make sure you eat everything you buy?

Make it delicious

Captain Obvious much? Maybe. But let me tell you a true story. I have never cared for green beans. I will eat them politely, one small helping only please and thank you. Neither the typical Pakistani style of cooking a green beans sabzi or tender crisp steamed versions did much for me. Then I finally found something that did.

Green bean sabzi, two smaller dishes with chickpeas and yogurt

Recently I was reading through a cookbook on the different techniques to maximize flavours in vegetables and it stated that charring was the way to go with green beans. Now I like the crispy bits on everything, the edge of this Chicken and Cheese Casserole, the masala at the bottom of any baked dish, aspargus roasted so it’s tender crisp with charred edges. It made complete sense to cook green beans this way and from that idea this Green Bean Sabzi was born.

Moral of the story: There is more than one way to cook most things. Find your favourite.

Not Your Pakistani Mamas Green Beans Sabzi

Pakistani cooks will instantly see that this recipe is a little unorthodox for us not just in technique, but in flavour as well. It is heavily South Indian in it’s flavours and as a result it is just so darn interesting to eat. For one it starts with coconut oil because I love the contrast between it’s rich flavour and the green beans. Then we add some nigella and mustard seeds (what gasp? no cumin? no whole red chilies?), let them sizzle. A little freshly grated/minced ginger for zing. Now comes my favourite part – heat on medium high and in go the chopped green beans and we just let them cook without moving till they get lightly charred. Shake of the pan, cook some more, until they’re all done. Season, add in diced green chilies and wonder where this wonder has been all along.

Tried it? Share what you think by reviewing the recipe below! You can also find me @flourandspiceblog on instagram! Want more veggie recipes? How about

5 from 6 votes
a white plate with lightly charred green beans
The BEST Green Beans Sabzi
Course: side
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani
Servings: 2
Author: Sarah – Flour & Spice
  • 3-3.5 cups Green Beans cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 tbsp Neutral Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Nigella Seeds
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger
  • Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder (Cayenne)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 2-3 Sliced Green Chilies
  1. Heat the oils in a large pan/wok on medium high heat

  2. Add the seeds and let them sizzle

  3. Now add the crushed ginger, give it a quick stir and add the green beans

  4. Add in about a teaspoon of salt, your 1/2 tsp of chili powder and the 1/4 tsp of turmeric and stir to combine

  5. Let cook uncovered without stirring for 4-5 minutes, the beans will start to char

  6. Move them around cook for another 4-5 minutes and test for doneness and seasoning.

  7. Add your sliced green chilies, mix, cook for a minute more and serve.

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