Spiced Green Beans with Rice and Noodles

May 2nd

Sydney home cook Donna Thomas has developed this amazing Lebanese vegetarian dish over the years. Her background is Scottish-Lebanese but there’s no Scottish influence here! The recipe is Donna’s take on the classic Lebanese lubia – green bean stew.

The equally delicious Lebanese rice and noodles can be a meal on its own, as Donna explains in the video. It’s a staple in her household – their alternative to fast food. You simply add tuna and a big sqeeze of lemon or slices of tomato and avocado or whatever you like really. (Since shooting this video with Donna the rice & noodles has become a weekly staple at our house too.)

In the video Donna uses 7 spices and seasonings to make her beautiful tomato sauce. You could also add 1 teaspoon of a pre-packaged spice called ‘Lebanese mixed spice’, if you can find it at your local spice store.

Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Lebanese
Serves: 4-5
  • 2½ large onions, sliced
  • About ¼ cup olive oil
  • 500g green beans
  • ¼ teaspoon Asafoetida spice powder - it's good for digestion
  • 1 red capsicum or half a large one, sliced (it doesn't have to be red but red looks good with the green beans)
  • 2 bunches asparagus, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • Parsley and toasted raw cashews to garnish
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • (*1 tsp pre-packaged Lebanese Mixed Spice if you can find it)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ cups short angel hair pasta
  • 1½ cups basmati rice, washed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups boiling water
  1. Slice the onions into half-moon shapes
  2. Put ¼ cup of olive oil in a high-sided large frying pan on a medium heat
  3. Once the oil's heated, add the onions and stir to coat them in the oil. Spread them evenly on the bottom of the pan and leave them to cook for a while
  4. Top and tail then chop the green beans
  5. Give the onions an occasional stir so they don't stick
  6. Make a small space in the middle of the browning onions, add the Asafoetida spice and cook in to the olive oil a bit before stirring the spice into the onions
  7. When the onions are golden brown add the chopped green beans and stir through
  8. Prepare and slice the red capsicum
  9. Add the capsicum to the pan, stirring it around to get all the flavours
  10. Prepare the spicy tomato sauce by adding the tomato paste and 7 (*or 8) spices and seasonings to a bowl. Pour in ½ cup of boiling water and mix the ingredients well. Keep adding boiling water, a bit at a time, until you have a sauce of loose consistency
  11. Add the sauce to the beans, capsicum and onions and turn the heat down to low
  12. Stir through. You can add more boiling water to get the right consistency - you need it watery enough so that the beans will be able to stew in it and become soft
  13. Put the lid on and stew gently for about 20 minutes, checking on it to make sure it doesn't dry out
  14. For the rice & noodles, put a large saucepan on a medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  15. Add the angel hair pasta and coat in the hot oil. Stir continuously till all the noodles turn golden brown. It's important to keep stirring, otherwise they do burn quite quickly
  16. When the noodles are evenly golden brown take the pan off the heat and stir in the washed basmati rice and salt, making sure to mix everything well together
  17. Then add 2 cups of boiling water, stir it through and put pan back on the heat
  18. When it starts to bubble put the saucepan lid on, turn down to low and leave it to cook for 15 minutes
  19. Meanwhile, chop the asparagus into bite-size pieces, add to the green bean stew, put the lid back on and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes
  20. After the rice noodles are finished cooking, take the saucepan off the heat and sit for a further 15 minutes. This helps improve the texture of the rice so don't be tempted to take the lid off to have a peek! You could also leave the green bean stew sitting off the heat with lid on
  21. Then it's time to plate up! Garnish with parsley and lightly toasted raw cashews


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