This is a very free adaptation of a recipe I stumbled on while looking for something to do with a metric craptonne of green beans; I think of it as a sort of South Asian green beans almondine. It was originally made as a side dish, but it would be a perfect dinner on its own with some spicy pickle, a pile of basmati rice, and maybe a handful of chickpeas thrown in if you're looking for some extra protein. The spinach was a last-minute addition because I wanted something properly green to balance the tempeh dopiaza it was accompanying, and the results were so pleasing that I highly recommend you do the same. (As for the cilantro, I find that it adds a certain "something," but haters can feel free to skip it or substitute something less objectionable.)
Bihari Green Beans and Spinach Masala
~ 1/4 cup thinly sliced almonds
~ 1 tbsp. canola oil
~ 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
~ 2 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, ground cumin, ground coriander, sweet paprika, garam masala
~ 1/2 tsp. red chili pepper flakes (more to taste)
~ 1 14 oz. can coconut milk (regular or "lite," but I suggest going for the gusto here)
~ 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
~ 1 10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed
~ 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, or 2 tsp. dried (optional)
~ In a dry skillet, toast the almonds over medium heat until light golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
~ In the same skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onion, garlic, salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, and chili pepper flakes over medium heat about 5 minutes, until the onion is tender and begins to brown.
~ Stir in the coconut milk, the green beans, and the spinach. Mix well, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in the toasted almonds, cover the pan, and cook until the beans are tender and the sauce thickens a bit, about 10-12 minutes.
~ Serve hot, garnished with the cilantro (if not a hater).