Buttermilk sweet potato and beans

Buttermilk sweet potato and beans

Reza’s Indian Spice

This dish is absolutely sublime, with its south Indian flavours of mustard seeds and curry leaves. It is incredibly vibrant, with its beautiful orange and bright green tones. It really comes together when you add the cashew nuts. Best of all, this is a truly simple dish and doesn’t take long to make at all.


Quantity Ingredient
30g broken cashew nuts
30g melon seeds
550g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes
200g french beans, de-stringed and cut into 2.5cm lengths
30g freshly grated coconut
or 15g desiccated coconut, soaked in warm water and squeezed dry
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon grated root ginger
2 green chillies, deseeded if you like
450ml buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons light sesame oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3-4 dried red chillies
10-12 curry leaves
generous handful spinach, shredded
2-3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves


  1. Put the cashew nuts and melon seeds into a bowl and pour over hot water from the kettle. Leave to soak for 15 minutes, then drain.
  2. Separately blanch both the sweet potatoes and the French beans in boiling salted water. The sweet potatoes will need five minutes, and the beans just two to three minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. Set aside.
  3. In a jug blender, grind together the nuts, melon seeds, coconut, turmeric, ginger, chillies, salt to taste and enough of the buttermilk to make a very smooth paste.
  4. In a separate pan, heat both the oils over a medium heat until hot. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and the dried chillies. Once they crackle and pop and the chillies have turned a shade darker, add the curry leaves and the nut mixture and stir-fry for a minute or so.
  5. Reduce the heat and pour in the remainder of the buttermilk, the sweet potatoes, green beans and spinach. Simmer for a few minutes, until the spinach wilts, then adjust the seasoning. Sprinkle over the chopped coriander and serve.
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