Creamy Canary Beans Curry

As much as I cook with beans and lentils, and love them, I had never before tried canary beans, although I’d seen them often enough at the grocery store.

Canary beans, I’m guessing, are so called because of their lovely yellow color. I used these to make a curry, Maharashtrian style, with coconut milk.

I must say I loved these beans. They hold their shape beautifully when cooked, but dissolve creamily in your mouth. They were perfect in this curry, but doubtlessly I will be looking for more recipes to make with these in the future.

I’ve been having a busy weekend, so I’m just going to get on with the recipe. Sometimes, I guess, you deserve a break from my babble. Enjoy the last few hours of the weekend, everyone!
This curry is off to the wonderful Legume Love Affair event started by Susan and hosted this month by Srivalli. Thanks, ladies!

Canary Bean Curry


1 cup Canary beans, soaked and boiled until tender

1 tbsp canola oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 tbsp coriander seeds, powdered

1 tsp cumin seeds, powdered

1/2 tsp turmeric

5 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch piece of ginger, chopped.

2-3 green chillies

2 tbsp jaggery (available in Indian stores. You can substitute with 2 tbsp sugar)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup minced coriander leaves

1/2 cup coconut milk (I use canned)

Heat the oil in a saucepan.

Add the onions and saute until translucent, about five minutes on medium heat.

Grind together the ginger, garlic, green chilies and the coriander and cumin powders into a fairly smooth paste.

Add the paste to the onions and saute until the mixture is rather dry and does not smell raw, about 5 minutes.

Add the beans and turmeric. Add salt to taste and a cup of water and bring to a boil. If the curry gets too dry at any time, add more water, a little at a time.

Simmer on low heat about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, jaggery and lemon juice and heat through.

Turn off the heat and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with rice.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

25 thoughts on “Creamy Canary Beans Curry

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    DJ Karma

    January 5, 2009 at 12:51am

    I’ll have to give canary beans a try too! I like your babble by the way :)

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    January 5, 2009 at 5:32am

    It is called peruano bean too… We can find everywhere here in CA! I really love the buttery flavor of the bean, nice curry!

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 5, 2009 at 6:10am

    I too have never tried canary beans,looks creamy.I soould find this next time i go grocery shopping.

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    January 5, 2009 at 7:09am

    Curry looks delightfully delicious! I haven’t tried canary beans – my legume taste is very very limited!

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 5, 2009 at 4:37pm

    Yet to try out any canary beans,but i guess i can go ahead and try this recipe with rajma…wht say huh?

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 5, 2009 at 6:08pm

    lovely curry! looks so inviting and mouth-watering. Nice bowl!

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    January 6, 2009 at 2:46am

    I’ve never heard of canary beans, so I’ll be checking out the local latin grocery stores to see if I can find them there.

    I agree with DJKarma, your babble is fun to read.

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    January 6, 2009 at 12:40pm

    Hi Vaishali, Happy New Year! Love the recipe, and I have not heard or seen this bean before. Hope I can use the same recipe on some other bean:-)

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    January 6, 2009 at 3:44pm

    DJ Karma: I hope you try them- you’ll love them. And I’m happy to know you like my babble :) I’ll keep it up!

    Mahimaa, Thanks. The curry on your blog certainly looks delicious.

    Cham, Thanks.

    Madhu, Thanks, and I highly recommend them.

    Sunshinemom, I don’t remember ever seeing canary beans in India- they’re something I only discovered here, along with pinto beans and pink beans. I love legumes, so the more beans there are, the merrier I am!

    Alka, You can definitely do this curry with rajma. I am sure it’ll give you very similar results.

    Uma, thanks. I love that turquoise blue of my bowl, too.

    Valerie, thanks for the vote on my babble! You girls make me so happy.

    Dear Shreya, Happy new year, and you can definitely try this with another bean. Rajma, as Alka suggests, would work great, but so would baby limas or even chickpeas.

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 6, 2009 at 6:14pm

    That looks like an interesting way to serve your favourite beans!

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 6, 2009 at 6:32pm

    I bought canary beans ages ago, when I first started MLLA, specifically because they are so very pretty. They are used often in Latin (especially South American) recipes.

    Your dreamy curry makes me want to hurry up now and cook with them.

    Happy New Year, Vaishali! Best wishes to Desi and the critters, too.

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 7, 2009 at 12:16am

    hi Vaishali, regarding the puttu maker, these days we can find it in US too. Its easy to get it from online stores. I am not sure if we can use a idly steamer. you can give a try though.

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Gita's Kitchen

    January 7, 2009 at 2:14am

    Canary beans is new to me. Is it available in US? The creamy curry looks so delicious, I should try this curry soon :)

  14. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 7, 2009 at 3:07am

    creamy and rich gravy! looks so tempting! yum yum yummmy!

  15. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Valerie (again)

    January 7, 2009 at 3:24am

    Yesterday, I’d never heard of canary beans. Today, I was walking through Kensington Market, in Toronto, and what should I find, but Canary beans at a Mexican grocery store. So, guess what I’m making tomorrow, thanks to you. I can’t wait to try them; they’re so pretty.

  16. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 7, 2009 at 9:55pm

    Susan, thanks! They are really pretty indeed. I can imagine how lovely they’d look nestled with some pintos, pink beans, cannelinis, red beans and black beans.

    Sharmi, THanks!

    Gita, yes they are available here in the US. I am quite sure you’d find them in the Hispanic foods aisle of any supermarket. Hope you try them!

    Vij, Thanks!

    Valerie, How wonderful you found them! Please let me know how they turn out.

  17. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 8, 2009 at 3:19am

    never had canary beans… they look pretty. got some navy beans though so maybe I can try a white version?!

  18. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    May 4, 2009 at 12:03am

    Bought canary beans awhile ago and found the blog while looking for a recipe. Since I haven’t cooked with coconut milk could someone please give me an idea of how much to put in? Planning on making it tomorrow night for dinner–so if I don’t hear it could be an even grander experiment–lol. Thanks and btw, enjoyed the commentary too.

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    May 4, 2009 at 12:07am

    FayeHilary: glad you pointed it out– you need 1/2 cup of canned coconut milk. Mix the milk in the can before using it because it tends to separate with the thick layer on top and thin on the bottom. Hope that helps :)

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    Patrick B.

    January 20, 2010 at 6:49pm

    Made this last night. It was terrific. The step where you add the beans is a bit confusing. Where does the liquid for boiling come from? I just used enough water to cover the beans and it worked well.

  21. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 12, 2013 at 12:39am

    I’m making this tomorrow. How many servings does this recipe make?

  22. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 13, 2013 at 3:42am

    I’m in the process of making this recipe and I’ve run into a problem. You say to bring it to a boil and to simmer for 5 minutes. But you have not mentioned any liquid! Your step of adding 4 oz of coconut milk comes after this step. Please respond and tell me how much liquid you used.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Vaishali Honawar

      October 13, 2013 at 5:07pm

      Anon, add water a little at a time if the curry is too dry. You should have had some water from boiling the beans too.

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