Green Beans with Coconut

Green Beans with Coconut (Sri Lanka)

Green Beans with Coconut. Sri Lanka Green Beans with Coconut (Bonchi Thel Dala). Gluten-Free and Vegan.  A wonderfully fragrant Sri Lankan side dish. A homemade unroasted curry powder and plenty of fresh, grated coconut is the key. This spicy green bean stir fry recipe is also known in Sri Lanka as ”bonchi thel dala”.

This recipe has been included as one of the Top Simple Recipe Picks from Educational Resource Publisher Twinkl 

Here is the link to see the article (

Green Beans with Coconut

It is a vegan pan-fried green beans recipe you can cook in less than 30 minutes. These beans are gently sauteed over a stovetop. We do not use coconut milk to tone down the spice level.

But served with a few mild vegetarian dishes, the spiciness of the stir-fried beans can be toned down to give you a side dish to compliment a plate of rice and curry.  Despite the extra heat, you can definitely adapt the recipe to your taste.

When it comes to how spicy you want the spicy vegetable curry, just reduce the number of chilies (both flakes and green chilies).

This recipe is from another International YouTube Collab. It is a series of videos about the cuisine of Sri Lanka. 20 great YouTube chefs cooked their favorite Sri Lankan dishes.

Sri Lanka Collab YouTube
Sri Lanka Collab YouTube

For the Sri Lanka collab, I will be making Sri Lanka Green beans with coconut (Bonchi Thel Dala). It is a vegan pan-fried green beans recipe you can cook in less than 30 minutes.

Sri Lanka, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, Southeast of India in the Palk Strait.  European mapmakers called it Ceylon, a name still used occasionally for trade purposes. It officially became Sri Lanka in 1972. When we were learning geography back in the Stone Age, we called it Ceylon.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Green Beans with Coconut

Sri Lanka Green beans with Coconut

Sri Lanka Green beans with coconut (Bonchi Thel Dala). Gluten Free and Vegan. A wonderfully fragrant Sri Lankan side dish.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Sri Lanka
Keyword: Green Beans
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 135kcal


  • No Special Equipment


Unroasted Curry Powder – Instead of roasting the spices

  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 dried curry leaves (are somewhat citrusy and hard to find in grocery stores. So I am substituting lime zest)
  • 2 tsp AllSpice
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds

Coconut Sambol

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • ¼ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, ground
  • ½ green chili minced
  • 3 tbsp fresh coconut
  • 2 curry leaves

Green Beans

  • 2 cups green beans cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 1 tsp lime juice


  • To make the curry powder, grind all of the ingredients with a spice grinder.
    Spices for marinade
  • For the coconut sambol, put 1/2 the garlic, onion, ginger and turmeric, plus all of the black pepper, green chili and grated coconut, into a food processor and whizz until fine.
    Coconut Sambol
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan
  • Add the remaining 1/2 onion, garlic and ginger, and the curry leaves, and stir. (Substituting lime zest for the curry leaves)
    Aromatics for Green Beans
  • Add 2 tbsp of the curry powder.
    Unroasted Curry Powder
  • Stir in the beans, season and cook for 3-4 minutes or until just cooked.
    Lime Juice
  • Stir in the sambol, chili flakes and lime juice, and serve.
    Green Beans with Coconut



Serving: 100g | Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.6g | Protein: 4.2g | Fat: 8.4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 7.8g | Sugar: 4.8g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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If you like this recipe for Sri Lankan Green Beans, you should try our recipe for Citrus Chicken Thighs. Or maybe another Green Bean recipe, Haricot Verts

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