Mar 27, 2013

Alavida (Goodbye) Madhur {wrap-up and Spicy Green Beans}

For the past two and half years, I've been cooking with I Heart Cooking Clubs.  If you aren't familiar with this group of bloggers, this is what we do:

For 6 months we cook the recipes of one chef.
Each blogger picks recipes from the featured chef that
he/she feels fits the weekly theme.

Some of the chefs are well-known, such as Giada de Laurentiis.  Some are not so well known, such as Tessa Kiros (my favorite so far).  In the time that I've been a part of IHCC, we've cooked Italian, British, Greek, Mexican, and Indian cuisine.

I've logged a lot of miles around the world my fork.

Often, people comment about the commitment to cooking one chef's recipes--saying it must be a lot of work.  Not really.  I've found that once I get started with a new chef, curiosity takes over.

This is our last week with Madhur Jaffrey, renown Indian chef.

It's always hard for me to narrow down "favorites."  But I've managed to select my TOP FIVE Madhur Jaffrey recipes.  (Plus two honorable mentions.  See...hard to pick.)

Since all of my top fives are main dishes, I have an honorable mention for one side and one dessert.


I was able to squeeze in one last recipe from Madhur Jaffrey.
Gujarati-Style Green Beans with red pepper flakes, lots of garlic, and mustard seeds
Everyone commented on the aroma while this cooked.  The method of adding the mustard seeds to the hot oil and listening for them to pop before proceeding made me think about how much senses other than taste are used in cooking.  Looking, listening, smelling. 
Whoa.  Too deep.
This was a great recipe to end on.  Easy enough to prepare--the green beans can be blanched ahead of time even.  Salty, sweet, spicy, garlicky flavors.  A lot going on.

Next week we start getting to know Yotam Ottolenghi.  Stop by I Heart Cooking Clubs to find out more.


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Gujarati-style Green Beans
adapted from Madhur Jaffrey

1 pound green beans
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp mustard seeds (I used yellow)
4 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
scant tsp salt, or to taste (I don't like a lot of salt)
a few pinches of sugar
freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

While the water heats, rinse the beans and cut off the ends.  Gather the beans in bundles and cut into thirds.

Blanch the beans.  Add them to the pot of boiling water and boil for about 4 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  The beans can be made ahead up to this point and stored in the refrigerator.

About 15-20 minutes before you are ready to eat, remove the beans from the refrigerator   Add the olive oil to a large pan and heat over medium.

When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds.  Stir and cook until the seeds start to pop.  Quickly add the garlic and stir.  Cook and stir until the garlic turns golden (but not burnt).

Add the red pepper flakes and heat briefly.  Add the green beans to the pan and season with salt, sugar, and black pepper.  Stir and heat for about 10 minutes.  Serve.


  1. Ok, first of all I have to tell you that I literally laughed out loud when I read your comment about popping mustard seeds over on Kaye's site. Oh my...I've popped my fair share of mustard seeds too!

    I loved reading about all your favorites. So much fun to see what everyone liked the most. I really liked the caramelized apples too. And, I wrote a note to try the baked chicken with chiles and onions and then lost it. I'm going to pin it now so I don't forget.

    Tessa is probably my favorite too, although I will say I loved cooking with all the ladies (more so than the men).

    Anyway, thanks for all your participation. I always looked forward to seeing what you shared. And, even though you don't like a lot of salt you definitely make up for it by not liking turmeric...ha ha!

  2. Great roundup, I see lots that I want to try.

  3. You are very brave & talented, Michelle. Always look forward to your posts.

  4. As I'm not very strong with cooking (I LOVE baking), this is a great and easy recipe for me. I'm also a vegetarian so it's perfect for me.
    Thanks for sharing Michelle, and I wish you a very Happy Holiday

  5. I bought a cookbook--Jerusalem. I'm going to try and participate. You guys are amazing tho.... super bloggers!

  6. Lovely round-up, Michelle - I'm especially hankering for that Goan Shrimp and the Cardamom Apples. Funny that you chose the Gujarati-style Green Beans, as that was the very first Madhur Jaffrey recipe I ever made - about 25 years ago when I first got my book - great dish.

  7. The cardamom apples made my top 5 (OK, top 6!) too. ;-) You made some marvelous dishes over the past six months. I still need to make the shrimp biryani--I have been eyeballing that one.

    Thanks for being such a great IHCC contributor too!

  8. It was so fun watching all of you cook along with Jaffrey! I definitely plan on joining in more with Ottolenghi!!

  9. Hi Michelle,
    Wonderful top picks! And the green beans looks delicious, it was on my list of to try, too many recipes that I've bookmarked, will be slowly trying them out one by one!
    So far, my favourite chef with IHCC is Madhur Jaffrey!
    Looking forward to YO, making my first dish tomorrow, can't wait!

  10. Michelle, just letting you know that you are in my Featured Food Blog sidebar for April on Carole's Chatter. Have a great week.


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments.