What in bengali household is known as "sheem" is better known in the world as Indian flat beans or more scientifically as hyacinth beans or seim beans. A quick search in the wikipedia showed me bright purple (or is it magenta?) beans which I have not seen in my life. What we have as a winter bounty every year are dark green flat beans that make its way to curry. I like them best with mustard paste and that is how it was mostly cooked by my Maa. Sometimes few beans made their way to a mixed vegetable curry.
It is very easy and takes only few minutes to be cooked. Only hard part is making the mustard paste.
Seim beans - 10-15 beans
Nigella seeds (kalo jeeray) - a pinch
Mustard oil (any oil of your choice)- 1 tablespoon
For mustard paste
Mustard seeds - 3 tablespoons
Poppy seeds - 1 tablespoon (optional)
Green chilies - 1 or more according to taste
Salt - To taste
Turmeric - a pinch
For the paste, add all the ingredients with 1/4 cup of water and make a paste in mixer grinder. Add more water if required. It takes nearly 8 to 10 minutes to make a smooth paste. The texture will be really smooth.
Cut the beans in 1 inch pieces.
Add oil in the pan and heat. Add the beans and saute for 3-5 minutes.
Move them to the side of a pan and add the nigella seeds and saute for a minute or two more.
Add the mustard paste to it and smear it well with the paste. You might add a couple tablespoon of warm water to it. Add a pinch of sugar to it (my mother hates it, but I like it).
Also, add a pinch of turmeric for nice color.
Cook it covered for 5 minutes more or till the beans change color and are cooked.
Serve it with a plate of warm white rice.