Sugar bean curry

4 servings Prep: 15 mins, Cooking: 1 hr 20 mins
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A staple dish in most Indian homes, bean curry is simple but delicious. Best served with roti.

By Independent Contributor November 27 2020
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Ingredients (17)

1 cup speckled red beans — dried
2 tbsp vegetable oil — or 1 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion — finely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tsp ginger and garlic paste
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground fennel
1 tbsp masala
2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
2 potatoes — peeled and cut into four cubes
2 Roma tomatoes — blanched and pureed
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Soak the beans in some warm water for an hour. Rinse well, then boil the beans until they are soft and tender. Do not add too much water when boiling the beans. Set aside.
In a medium pot, heat the oil or ghee on low to medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry until they splutter.
Add the onion, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, star aniseed and curry leaves. Sauté until the onion is slightly brown.
Add the ginger-and-garlic paste and fry for one minute.
Add the turmeric, coriander, fennel, masala and Kashmiri chilli powder. Cook for one minute. Add a few drops of water to prevent the spices from burning.
Add the potatoes and cook for 2–3 minutes. Add the puréed tomatoes. Cover and cook until all the liquid dries up.
Add half cup of water and allow potatoes to cook on a low heat until tender but not fully cooked.
Add the beans. Season with salt. Add another half cup of water and allow the beans to cook with the potatoes until the potatoes are soft. You can add more water depending on how much gravy you prefer.
Garnish with coriander.


  1. Soak tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes. Run some cold water over them, remove the skin and purée the tomatoes in a blender or use a stick blender.
  2. You can soak your beans overnight to make the cooking process easier. Boil them before cooking your curry.
  3. When adding water to your curry, be careful not to add too much as you don’t want a runny gravy – it should be thick. If you are using soft cooking potatoes, you won’t need as much water as you would need when using potatoes that take longer to cook.
  4. If you do not have masala, you can increase the amount of Kashmiri chilli powder.
  5. If you’re having a lazy day, you can replace the dried beans with 2 cans of red speckled beans.

Reprinted with permission from Lorraine Maharaj from Tamarind & Thyme. Follow along on Instagram.

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