South Africans are generally partial to anything curried, and curried green beans, known as “kerrieboontjies” in Afrikaans, are no exception. They can be served hot, as a vegetable, or chilled, as a salad.
Curried salads make great sides that can be made ahead of time and used, as needed, from the fridge for at least a week. They complement meat, fish and many egg dishes.
Curried green beans remind me of my grandmother’s farm kitchen where a stock of bottled curried beans stood proud, on display, for ready-use. Today, I make them as needed and they are always enjoyed.
Other curried salads we enjoy are the really easy ‘Curried peach salad’ in our book, page 99, using canned peaches; ‘Curried dried fruit salad’, on page 98; and ‘Chakalaka’, on page 86.
- 1 pound green beans, shredded or sliced
- 1 medium onion, halved and sliced (half-rings)
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons mild curry powder
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with a little cold water
- Place the beans, onion, garlic and water in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Boil rapidly, uncovered, for 7-10 minutes until just cooked. Younger beans will cook more quickly.
- Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, curry powder and turmeric in a measuring cup, add to the beans and bring to the boil while stirring.
- Thicken by slowly adding the cornstarch. Simmer for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer to a glass container. When cold, cover and refrigerate until needed.
Frozen green beans can be used if fresh beans are not available.