french beans

What is French Beans, Fansi ? Glossary, Benefits + Recipes Viewed 176856 times

Also Known as
Fansi, phansi

What is French Beans (Fansi)?

French beans are smaller than common green beans and have a soft, velvety pod. Quite fleshy for their size, only tiny seeds inhabit these delicate pods. French beans are sweet, tender and wonderfully crispy. French beans are delicious. The tasty beans are picked while still small and when cooked that size they taste out of this world. French beans generally grow as a bush, which grows twelve to twenty inches tall depending upon the variety you decide to grow. However there are some varieties that climb similar to runner beans, these varieties grow up to seven foot tall.

Chopped and blanched french beans
Wash French beans thoroughly in cold water. Chop them as desired - thinly, thickly, julienne or diagonally cut. Boil some water in a pan. Add a pinch of salt and soda for it will help it cook faster and retain the colour too. Boil for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and strain it. To enhance its colour, it can be immersed in cold water for another 5 mins and then drained again.
Chopped and boiled french beans
Wash french beans thoroughly in cold water. Chop them as desired. Boil some water in a pan. Add a pinch of salt and soda for it will help it cook faster and retain the colour too. Boil for 10 mins. Remove from heat and strain it. To enhance its colour, it can be immersed in cold water for another 5 mins and then drained again.
Chopped french beans
Chop the pointed edges from both the ends. Chop ingredients by cutting them in small pieces approximately ¼ inch in diameter, although the chopped food doesn't need to be exactly the same size. If the recipe calls for the ingredients to be "coarsely chopped," make the pieces slightly larger, and if the recipe calls for chopped and boiled or blanched french beans, chop the french beans as mentioned earlier and blanch of boil them and use further as the recipe calls for.
Diagonally cut and blanched french beans
String the beans and wash thoroughly in cold water and drain. Place them on a chopping board and slice them diagonally into about 5 cm.strips or as per your recipe requirement.
Boil some water with salt in a deep-pan. Boil the beans for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the beans and plunge them in ice cold water, it will stop the cooking process and help retain the bright green color. Drain and use as required.

Diagonally cut french beans
String the beans and wash thoroughly in cold water and drain. Place them on a chopping board and slice them diagonally into about 5 cm.strips or as per your recipe requirement.
French bean cubes
Dice or cube ingredients by cutting them into uniform strips. Line up the strips with your non-working hand and cut them into square pieces. Cube them as per the recipe's need regarding the size of the cubes, (for example, "cut into ½-inch cubes").
Sliced french beans
Removing the edges, slice them using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly into strips as the recipe requirement. You can even parboil sliced french beans.


How to Select French Beans (Fansi)
Always look for the youngest, brightest and freshest looking beans that have crisp pods. Choose beans while they're still firm, rather than limp and rubbery. Thinner beans are more popular for eating with the pod than larger beans.

11 Ways to use French Beans (Fansi) in cooking

1. Ideal for cooking, French beans can be prepared whole by themselves or in a variety of savory dishes.  

2. Simply stir-fry beans with butter and relish an array of dishes like Stir Fried French Beans with Kalonji or Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables in Butter. Perk them up with an addition of almonds, garlic, tomatoes, various roasted seeds or goat cheese. 

3. Tiny, tender, and bright green, they are the perfect complement to Chinese dishes. French Beans with Garlic tossed in soy makes a delectable dish with just a handful of ingredients. You can also top them with crunchy sesame seeds to make Stir Fried French Beans and Garlic

4. Try French beans as a substitute for your favorite green bean recipe or simply blanched with butter and seasonings. 

5. Cook and eat as soon as you can to preserve texture, flavour and goodness. Savory dishes like French Bean and Corn Stir Fry sautéed in an assortment of Indian spices is not only crunchy, but also tasty and easy to make. 

6. French Beans are one of the most commonly eaten green beans in India. They are added to Punjabi subzis like Vegetable Makhanwala, rice-based dishes like Spicy Vegetable Pulao, Vegetable Biryani, fresh salads like Gado Gado salad and the list goes on.  

7. Most Indian households make French beans as a dry vegetable either with cubed potatoes or without them. You can even substitute starchy potatoes with vitamin A loaded carrots and make a very simple subzi Gajar Fansi.  

8. They are also widely used in South Indian cuisine to make various dishes like the French Beans Foogath, French Beans and Carrot Thoran, French Bean and Chana Dal Stir-fry

9. Also, French beans taste amazing with coconut. You can try this combination to prepare French Beans in Coconut Curry or French Beans with Coconut.  

10. Cooking spring / early summer vegetables lightly and serving them with pasta is a delicious way to enjoy the first signs of summer. Indian Style Macaroni is easy to make and only uses one pan - always a bonus.  

11. It can also be chopped finely and used to make myriad of stuffing for cutlets, puffs and patty. Try your hands on these yummy snacks like Veg puff, Mixed Veg Cutlets, Ghughra with Fansi and Paneer Stuffing


Health Benefits French Beans (Fansi)
1. Absolutely less in calories and carbs : 1 cup of French beans, fansi provides only about 34 calories and 6 g of carbs. For all the calorie and weight conscious people, this bean is a boon. Stir-fry it to retain its maximum crunch and health values.

2. More or less nil in fat : French beans provide only 0.1 g of fat from about a cup, which is considered to be zilch. To cook them in a wholesome way, you can use a teaspoon of omega-3 and omega-6 rich olive oil. This would work towards building a healthy heart, keeping arteries free of clots and maintaining cholesterol levels.

3. Liberal Amounts of Vitamin C : Vitamin C is the nutrient which acts as the first line of defense against any kind of diseases. Its antioxidant property reduces inflammation, wards off the harmful free radicals and helps in the absorption of iron and calcium too. It also serves as a great detox. Collagen formation is one another function of vitamin C, which gives the skin its elasticity and wrinkle-free appearance. A cup of French beans contains a whooping amount of 31 mg of vitamin C - which fulfils almost 78% of your daily need of this nutrient. There isn’t any more reason needed to include these beans to your diet once a week at least.

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Nutritional Information for French Beans (fansi):
1 cup of raw French beans is about 130 grams
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.

Energy - 34 calories
Protein – 2.2 g
Carbohydrate – 5.9 g
Fat – 0.1 g
Fiber – 2.3 g

Vitamins:
31.2 mg of Vitamin C = 78% of RDA (40 mg)
0.1 mg of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) = 20% of RDA ( (about 1.2 to 1.6 mg for men)
0.0.8 mg of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) = 7.3% of RDA (about 1.4 to 1.9 mg for men)
59.2 mcg of Folic acid (Vitamin B9) = 59.2% of RDA (about 100 mcg)
171.6 mcg of Vitamin A = 3.57% of RDA (4800 mcg)

Minerals:
65 mg of Calcium = 6.5% of RDA (about 1000 mg)
0.8 mg of Iron = 4% of RDA (about 20 mg)
5.6 mg of Sodium
49.4 mg of Magnesium = 6.06% of RDA (about 350 mg)
36.4 mg of Phosphorus 0.77% of RDA (about 600 mg)
0.84 mg of Zinc = 7% of RDA (about 10 to 12 mg)
156 mg of Potassium = 3.3% of RDA (about 4700 g)