Adam’s Indian Bean Curry

Our lovely friend from university, Adam, sent us this yummy curry recipe. Thank you Adam!

My Aunt’s Indian bean curry

This recipe works well with a number of different beans, from butter beans (suggested in this version) to red kidney, borlotti and black eye beans. It’s super quick and can be tailored to everyone’s spice level.


2 tbsp vegetable/sunflower oil

1 onion, chopped

1 ripe tomato, chopped into eighths

1 tin of butter beans

1 cup of basmati rice (long grain works too, but be careful not too over cook it! This amount of rice usually feeds 2 people)

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground Cumin

1 tsp garam masala

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp whole cumin seeds

Chili powder to taste

Salt to taste


1 decent non-stick saucepan. The curry can get stuck to the bottom during cooking, non-stick really helps.

1 saucepan for the rice.

For the rice:

(1)     Set your rice on the hob, cook to the packet instructions. The curry is usually ready by then – I always find that if the rice tastes slightly firm/undercooked in the pot it usually tastes cooked when it’s cooled on the plate.

(2)     I always wash the rice before and after cooking with boiling water to wash any remaining starch which may make the rice sticky and not fluffy.

For the curry:

(1)     Heat the non-stick pan on a medium temperature with the oil, mustard and cumin seeds. Once you see the cumin seeds start to “fizz” the oil is hot enough.

(2)     Add the onion and cook till they are translucent. Keep the onions moving, you don’t want them to stick.

(3)     Add the tomatoes and all the spices, keep the mixture moving to coat all the onion. Cover the pot to keep in the moisture.

(4)     Cook for 3-4 minutes until the tomato softens and the water from them forms a small amount of gravy. If the mixture is still dry add some hot water to form a base.

5)     At this point the mixture might start sticking to the pan. Don’t worry, my Aunt always called this stage “boonah” – this part is essential as it really enhances all the spice flavors.

(6)     Drain the beans and add them to the mixture, coating in all the spices. Cook for a further 5-6 minutes until the beans have softened. Adding some hot water will form a thick soup base. Add salt to taste.

(7)     Different beans take different times, just go with what you see and serve when they are just starting to break the skin.

N.B. At stage 6 you can make 2 types of curry, adding a small amount of hot water will create a runnier curry and works better in my opinion. If you prefer chunkier curries then leave this out.

This entry was written by Flossita and published on 4 November, 2013 at 8:31 pm. It’s filed under Curries, Savoury Recipes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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