Lima Bean Curry

For years now, one of my favorite quickie recipes has been a flavorful but utterly simple cauliflower curry that requires just a minimum of ingredients.

The cauliflower goes into a tomato sauce that, together with some turmeric, creates a glorious orange color.

I wanted to make this curry for Aparna who’s hosting FIC: Orange this month, an event started by Sunshinemom Harini, but as I was about to begin, I realized I needed a protein component to my meal. So I thought, why not substitute the cauliflower with beans?

So in went some lima beans, those creamy, flavorful little nuggets, and the result was quite wonderful. I guess one could use both cauliflower and limas, and I might just try it that way the next time I make this dish.

So here’s this glorious, gorgeous but super-easy dish that will have you coming back for seconds, and thirds.


Lima Bean Curry


1 cup lima beans, soaked and then boiled until tender (As I thought of using these at the last minute, I just did a quick soak: I covered the lima beans with water and brought them to a boil. I then turned off the stove and let them stand for an hour, after which I proceeded to pressure-cook them. Believe me, this saves a lot of time than if you were to pressure-cook or stove-cook the dry beans right out of the jar.)
Reserve about 3 cups of the liquid in which the beans were cooked, or if you don’t have that much, you can add water.

2 tomatoes, diced

1 tsp cumin seeds + 1 tsp mustard seeds, powdered in a spice grinder.

1 tsp cumin seeds for tempering

1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

A pinch of asafetida or hing (optional)

1 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup coriander leaves, minced

Blend together the tomatoes, cumin-mustard powder and garlic, using just enough water. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the cumin seeds for tempering, and when they sputter, add the asafetida, if using, and the blended tomato mixture.

Add the chili and turmeric powders and stir in. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Now add the beans and liquid to the saucepan. Add salt to taste, and continue to cook until the gravy thickens, about 10 minutes. (If you use cauliflower, add the florets raw when you would the beans, but stir-fry for a couple of minutes before you add some water. Check regularly to ensure that the cauliflower does not overcook.)

Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice.

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

14 thoughts on “Lima Bean Curry

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 23, 2009 at 6:00pm

    I love baby Lima beans, they are so buttery in dishes. Looks good V, lovely color! :)

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    February 23, 2009 at 6:46pm

    I am huge fan of lima beans , great curry for roti or rice.

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    February 23, 2009 at 6:57pm

    I really, really can’t get enough of beany curries! Thank you so much for another awesome recipe.

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    February 23, 2009 at 9:00pm

    Lima bean curry one of my fav. Your version of curry looks very delicious

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    February 23, 2009 at 9:06pm

    Delicious curry..looks really colourful n yummy!!

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    February 24, 2009 at 3:00am

    Curry looks great! I love any kind of beans but I don’t think we get this here.

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    February 24, 2009 at 5:13am

    Just the kind of cooking I love … fast and easy. :-) I just let the cooker shout a few more extras if cooking any beans right out of the jar. :-)

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    February 24, 2009 at 3:50pm

    Thats a lovely curry..I love lima beans and I can’t wait to try this :)

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    February 24, 2009 at 4:01pm

    Thanks for the recipe, Vaishali. I made this.:)
    It is super quick. I used frozen lima beans and added some rice flour towards the end to thicken it up a bit.
    It goes really well with rice.:)

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    Poornima Nair

    February 24, 2009 at 5:59pm

    I had lima beans for the first time last week and bought a pack this weekend. Gonna try this, it looks delicious.

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    February 24, 2009 at 10:29pm

    I was thinking of making some type of lima bean curry this week and this seems like a great recipe to try with lima beans :-)

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    February 25, 2009 at 11:42am

    Thanks for painting this post “Orange”, Vaishali. Lima beans sounds delicious, and cauliflower lover that I am, I’m sure it would be even better with the cauliflower.:)

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    January 17, 2011 at 12:11am

    Thanks so much for this, I cooked lima beans today for the first time and used your recipe, they came out absolutely delish. Am sharing your link on my blog. Happy New Year :)

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