Ravinder Bhogal’s green bean, cashew, and coconut salad

© Rahil Ahmad

We were incredibly fortunate last week to have the wonderful Ravinder Bhogal come and cook at the Secret Larder. Ravinder, if you don’t know her, was the winner of Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Find Me A Fanny’ competition on the F-Word, and has since written a beautiful book, co-presented Channel 4’s ‘Food’, and started writing a blog for Conde Nast Traveler. She served this salad with a phenomenally delicious fish curry, lemon rice, and various other goodies.

Serves 10-12

1kg green beans, trimmed and cut into three
a generous slug of groundnut oil
8 teaspoons mustard seeds
4 whole dried red chilli
a few pinches of asafoetida
8 tablespoons of split Bengal gram
30 fresh curry leaves
200g cashew nuts
4 handfuls of toasted desiccated coconut
Salt to taste
the juice of 2 -3 small limes

– Place the beans in a pan, and cover with water from a freshly boiled kettle. Simmer for one minute and then drain and refresh in icy cold water. The beans should still be
toothsome.

– Toast the cashews in a hot dry pan and set aside. Toast the coconut till pale golden, too – keep your eye on it as it does go from golden to charred rather quickly.

– Heat the oil in a wok or pan and once it’s smoking, throw in Bengal gram. As soon as it begins to colour, sprinkle in the mustard seeds. Once they begin to sputter, add the asafoetida, dried red chilli and curry leaves. Stir in the green beans and cashews, season to taste, pour in 30mls of water, cover and cook for 4 -5 minutes.

– Remove from the heat, scatter over the coconut and squeeze over the limejuice. Leave to cool and let the flavours commingle for as long as possible. Serve at room temperature.

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