Sri Lankan Runner Bean Curry


Yes, the second recipe in two weeks inspired by the fabulous cuisines of south Asia (and the second in a row from With beans running rampant for farmers and allotmenteers alike, they were a must for this page this week. You could substitute other green beans for runners but adjust the cooking time. For purists who want a simpler bean treatment, this is lovely: steam until tender, then toss for a minute or two on a low heat in butter or oil, crushed garlic, lemon zest, salt and black pepper.


  • 300g runner beans, stringed and sliced
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • large piece ginger, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. black mustard seed
  • 5 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp. mild curry powder
  • 400g can coconut milk
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole dried red chilli
  • juice 1 lime
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • handful fresh coriander


  1. In a blender, combine the onion, turmeric, ginger, garlic and 1 tbsp. of oil, with a large pinch of salt.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a shallow pan. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Cook until they crackle, then add the onion paste and cook until sticky.
  3. Stir through the curry powder, then pour in the coconut milk. Add the cloves, cinnamon and the chilli, and bring to a simmer.
  4. Tip in the beans and simmer for 15 mins or until the beans are tender. Squeeze in the lime juice, add the garam masala, take the pan off the heat and stir through the coriander. Ready to serve.