so, this recipe for green beans with mustard seeds? it’s delicious. also? it can make a bit of a mess. those tasty little mustard seeds, well, left to their own devices, they would love to be just about anywhere but in the pan you’re using to cook them.
it’s so worth it, though. this recipe was my gateway to liking green beans: my senior year of college, one of my friends/housemates was raving about these green beans with mustard seeds and wanted to cook them for us on her night to make dinner. i remember thinking, “ok, fine, but green beans are gross.” my skepticism did not diminish as i watched her hop back and forth from one foot to the other in front of the stove, trying to avoid getting burned by rogue mustard seeds leaping from the pan (see recipe notes for tips on curtailing this).
boy was i wrong! the garlic, the subtle heat (or not so subtle, if you prefer) from the crushed red pepper, and the mustard seems themselves – yum! these green beans with mustard seeds have been a staple for me ever since. i always make a huge batch so that i’ll have plenty of leftovers.
at this point, you’re probably thinking, “ok, these do sound pretty good, but i’ll stick to making them in my own kitchen. i won’t, say, bring them to someone else’s house who i have only recently befriended so as to cement our friendship by covering her stovetop and adjacent counter in tiny black spheres.” if that is, indeed, what you are thinking, then you are much smarter than i am. luckily, the new friend was a good sport, i cleaned everything up after we ate, and the green beans were delicious enough to make it worth it.
what about you? do you have any favorite recipes that are totally worth the mess?
did you make this recipe? i’d love to know what you think of it! leave a comment below and share a picture on instagram with the hashtag #tastyseasons.
green beans with mustard seeds make a quick, delicious, and healthy vegetable side dish. crushed red pepper adds just a little bit of heat. enjoy this gluten free/paleo/dairy free recipe for dinner tonight!
- 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil or vegetable oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons water (measure out in advance into a little cup)
- 450 g. (16 oz.) fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 2 – 3” lengths
- 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds (see notes)
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (adjust to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- set a large (12” / 30.5 cm) skillet with a lid over medium heat and heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. add the green beans and 3 tablespoons of water all at once and quickly put the lid on the skillet to trap the steam that is created. cook covered for 3 minutes, then uncover, stir, and cook for about 2 more minutes, stirring frequently, until the beans are crisp tender and the water has evaporated. transfer the beans to a colander and run cold water over them to stop them from overcooking. dry the beans as much as possible to reduce oil splatters later on.
- in the now empty skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and stir them around for about 30 seconds. watch for flying (hot!) mustard seeds (see notes).
- once the mustard seeds have popped for a few seconds, add the garlic and stir it around for a few seconds until it’s fragrant but not yet browning. add the crushed red pepper and stir.
- add the green beans and sprinkle the salt over the top of them. use a spatula to turn and flip the beans so that they get covered in the oil/mustard seed/garlic mixture. sauté the beans for about 2 minutes, or until they are your preferred level of doneness. i like the beans best with a little bit of crunch left.
- remove from heat and serve immediately.
black mustard seeds are available from indian grocery stores (usually the cheapest option), well stocked grocery/specialty food stores, or online (amazon has a bunch of options).
if you have a splatter screen that you use to cook bacon or fry things, now is a great time to pull it out. you only need it during the brief time when the mustard seeds are in the pan without the green beans, but during that time, it’s definitely helpful.
adapted from “gujerati-style green beans” in madhur jaffrey’s indian cooking (affiliate).
please note this page contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase after clicking from here, i will earn a small commission from amazon at no additional charge to you. i only link to products that i use and love. thank you for supporting tasty seasons!