A hearty, delicious mushroom lima bean stew with Indian spices. This pairs perfectly with rice or crusty French bread.
Here's my recipe for today: a hearty, healthy dish that will put the spring back into your step and remind you why plant-based food is a great choice.
Lima beans are among my favorite beans to cook, with their deep, rich, sweet and nutty flavor. They also cook so easily. I especially love them in recipes like these Greek Gigantes, where they combine with tomatoes to create a magical dish you can serve as an appetizer or entree.
This Mushroom-Lima Bean Stew, Indian-Style, the lima beans once again get to hang out with tomatoes and other veggies, creating tons of deliciousness.
This recipe is perfect for a quick and nutritious weeknight meal, and it takes minutes to put together once you have your beans ready.
Serve it hot with a rice dish or as I did with Coconut Quinoa (recipe coming up in my next post) for a very special, very delicious meal. A lot of the flavor in this recipe comes from my garden-fresh herbs. Feel free to use any you have on hand.
Here's the recipe. Enjoy, all!
Mushroom And Lima Bean Stew
- 1 cup dried lima beans , rinsed and soaked overnight, then cooked until tender. If you have a pressure cooker, you can skip the soaking.
- 8 oz crimini mushrooms (substitute with portabella for a meatier flavor, or button)
- 1 large onion , chopped into a small dice
- 1 cup tomato puree
- ½ cup white wine (optional-- I like it because it adds another layer of flavor, but Indians don't usually cook with wine, so feel free to skip)
- 2 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (I used thyme and sage, but you can use any "spicy" herb you have on hand, like rosemary or oregano. Basil would be fine too, but add that at the end of the cooking)
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions and mushrooms.
- Stir to coat with oil and saute until the onions start to take on a sheen, about 2 minutes.
- Add the white wine and cook, stirring, until most of the wine has evaporated. Add the herbs, tomato puree, powdered spices, and cook for another two minutes.
- Add the cooked lima beans with any water leftover from cooking them and stir well. If you didn't have enough cooking water, add some regular water.
- Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook another 3-4 minutes. Add salt to taste. Turn off the heat and garnish, if you like, with more fresh herbs.
Katherine D Emerson
I just made this for dinner (6 servings option) and it was SO good.
I used dried herbs & spices and adjusted the quantities, as well I used three garlic cloves instead of garlic paste. I think the cooking times are off though. Once it boiled, I let it simmer for about 25 minutes so all the flavours blended nicely.
QUESTION: How much liquid are we aiming for? You mention "If you didn't have enough cooking water, add some regular water" but how liquidous or thick should this stew be?
Thank you 🙂
Hi Katherine, so happy you enjoyed the stew! The thickness of the stew is a matter of personal preference--you can add as much or as little water as you like to adjust the thickness, but be sure to adjust salt accordingly. I'd probably add about 2 cups to this stew.
At what point are you to add the garlic paste?
I've never used garlic paste in a recipe, and looking at the commercially available options, it appears that many contain preservatives and/or other "unpronouncables". Can fresh garlic be substituted?
Yes you should make your own. Just put garlic through a garlic press or use a mortar and pestle.
Hi was cruising the net for recipes, I am vegetarian for over 30 years and found a few years ago my health (arthritis)much improved by removing all nightshades IE potato, tomato, capsicum, eggplant. So am always trying to find interesting but simple recipes without them. ( Eating out can be a nightmare too! As most vego options have either tomato or potato) Suggestions would be appreciated??
I love recipes with unique combo. This is good variation to enjoy mushroom instead of usual mushroom matar gravy. Can we use Indian herbs like dhania or pudina here?
Hi Subhashini, yes, absolutely, dhania would be great.
I like your recipe and would have preferred it without the politics. I think it's a misstep to say that some people change only because their tastebuds are weak or lack determination. Researching and learning, and then coming to change your opinion is called growing up. We are allowed to change our minds based on our experiences. Calling someone a liar and polarizing the topic isn't going to help your cause.
Personally, I know vegans who had health issues while eating a clean diet and taking supplements, and regained health after eating animal and fish products. It may not be happening to you, but can happen.
I was vegetarian for 20 years and have been vegan for the past 8 years, if you are truly vegan I just don't see how you could go back to eating meat, I do not eat meat substitutes as they look too much like the real thing. Being vegan has made me more aware of animal suffering , there is no way I could do anything now other than eat plant based food. which by the way I love. I don't know anyone who has health issues on a plant based diet, yes somethings don't agree with all of us but one can find away around it if you really want to instead of making it an excuse to return to meat eating.
I have mixed feelings on the whole plant based diet. On one hand you see people getting carried away with fake foods that are not any better for your health verses a lean cut of farm raised beef. Do I think a plant based diet is the way to go? I guess it is. I eat a plant based diet but I feel like it's a glorified way of taking food away from farm animals. instead of killing them outright just eat their food. Don't get me going on palm oil, yes let's take away land from the rain forest to make vegan butter. don't forget if you do dialysis most plant protein has too much potassium, and phosphorus for them to consume.
I just made this. I just ate this. Twas good. 🙂
Wow this is a really great post. I don't eat meat but a lot of my friends do. In fact a close friend and I have had countless arguments because she genuinely believes, "eating meat is essential to maintain the balance in our ecosystem."
Anyway my point is, your argument that that there is no ethical way to eat meat is bang on. The animal is dead. And sadly, vegetarian/vegan advocacy groups simply don't have the resources to compete with large corporations that get a kick out of killing, culling and feeding that to humans.
PS - Planning to try the recipe this weekend.
Ingrid, feel free to use any bean that's quite "buttery"-- any white bean would do but I wouldn't substitute with, say, black or red beans.
Soumya, use any wine that you would drink-- don't use wine specifically labeled "cooking wine" because that is usually of an inferior quality.
When you mention white wine, what kind should I use for cooking? I've never used wine for cooking, but always wanted to give it a try.
My fiance and I make sure to eat vegetarian meals throughout the week. This was the perfect comfort food dish! Filling, but light. I just added salt and some cabbage. Yummy, thank you!
Very powerfully written post, Vaishali! It's really a shame how many people revert back to their old habits after a long-enduring success. The curry looks absolutely scrumptious-I especially like the addition of white wine. Having just returned from a year abroad in France, I am very eager to try out the addition of wine to Indian cooking 🙂
huh! Lesson learned! Tomato puree and tomato paste are NOT the same! I now have the most tomatoey curry possible.
hi! Great post, great recipe.
Quick question, have you tried subbing the lima beans with any other type, say borlotti? My pantry has no lima beans at the moment.
~ thanks, Ingrid
Super post. I agree, that's something that always makes me angry.
It’s the land and resource use for raising animals for our food that Mother Earth cannot endure. Water.
Sustainable gardening. Essential for our survival on this planet.
Anonymous, kudos to you!
Richa, I agree--she sounds like a total idiot.
Nikki, thanks! And congratulations for making the ethical choice.
AmyA, 1 cup of dry beans roughly yields around 2 cups of cooked beans. You could definitely use frozen lima beans.
Gita, thanks. I've been well-- been trying to blog a little more after a small hiatus when things got a bit too busy. It's also good to see you back and blogging.
Hi Vaishali, how are you? Very thoughtful post...lima bean and mushroom looks hearty and delicious...love the addition of different herbs other than cilantro and curry leaves we use...got to try this one 🙂
Looks delicious and can't wait to try it soon!
How much does the cup of dry lima beans yield when cooked? I don't have time to cook the beans and wonder if I can you use frozen lima beans instead...?
I love this: "You cannot eat meat without taking a life". I haven't been vegan for very long, but once I realized the impact my foodchoices had on animals, the environment, and my health I knew I had to make the change. I can't imagine going back. The thought of it makes me sick. And the thought of people claiming to be ethical meat eaters also makes me sick. There is no such thing.
Also, nice stew 🙂
Nice rant!:) i saw ginnifer goodwin on jimmy kimell and man i wanted to giver her a tight one:).. her family went vegan because of her.. and now she visits them and says. really u dont want some cheese and some bacon on that..
Great stew too!
-Richa @ Hobby And More Blog
Hobby And More on Facebook
Nisha, thanks for the support, and good point. Although humans do force animals to reproduce, especially in factory farms, it is not the gentle, natural, loving process that gardening is.
I've been vegetarian since the mid 70's because I care about animals. My feelings for animals have not changed.
Its actually wasting ones enerygy on people who lack determination and do not have the willpower to conquer over their tastebuds. Such people are bound to give thousands and lakhs of "escuses" disguised as health reason, no option etc. AS you rightly siad "If you really want to eat meat, do it and be honest enough to fess up to the fact that your cravings got the better of you, instead of trying to justify your choice as being more ethical than the one that millions of vegans around the world make each day."
For those who argu on the point that plants also have life, should be told, humans can reproduce plants, and asked can they "Reproduce animals and other living beings on which they feast upon".
Rick, I agree that animals weren't put on earth for us.
Thekitchenaffaire, thanks-- and yes, those videos are heartbreaking.
Pavani, some cashew paste would be nice, but this curry is very creamy because of the lima beans. Also, this keeps it low-fat.
Solaripedia, that's so interesting about the Tarahumara Indians-- thanks for sharing. And yes, there are quite a few vegan athletes out there -- Scott Jurek and Brendan Brazier also come to mind-- showing us that one can be vegan and strong.
G-Town Audrey, Welcome, and thanks
for your lovely words.
I stumbled across your blog yesterday when I was googling for a recipe for capsicum (bell peppers) stuffed with brown rice. Your blog is excellent. I am not a vegan, but I've recently started reconsidering my ethical position on the consumption of animal products. I think the delicious recipes on your website are inspiring. Well done!
In the book "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall, the author describes the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico as perhaps the healthiest, most robust people on the planet - they rarely consume meat (with the exception of occasional mice) and can run a hundred+ miles over steep canyon trails at the drop of a hat. Corn, beans, squash, chia and corn beer fuel their super-human abilities. Other ultrarunners, such as Ruth Heidrich, are also successful vegan athletes.
Excellent post Vaishali.
Lima bean curry looks awesome. I can see myself adding some almond or cashew butter to the gravy. But yours looks creamy even without them.
Awesome post Vaishali.. I agree completely. It feels sad when you see videos of how badly the animals are treated at the farms..
the reply from anonymous was laughable. that's why it was left anonymous.
people like that claim vegans have a haughty, "holier-than-thou" attitude but that's hardly the case. we simply feel deep compassion for other sentient beings.
"Early scriptures in the Pali Canon and the conventions of the Tibetan Bhavachakra classify sentient beings into five categories—divinities, humans, animals, tormented spirits, and denizens of hell—although sometimes the classification adds another category of demonic beings between divinities and humans."
I don't see plants in there. Also, i truly think plants were put on earth for our use, whereas animals certainly were not. plants were put on earth for the use of the animals too.
all of this adds up to a really weak point attempted by "anonymous"
Kamini, kudos to you and your husband! And thanks for the endorsement-- what a great example why a vegan lifestyle is better all-round.
Rick, thanks, and hope you enjoy the stew!
Anonymous, there is no evidence that plants have a nervous system and feel pain, the way animals clearly do. That said, here's something else to think about: It takes 16 pounds of vegetable matter, or grains, to yield one pound of meat. In other words, a cow would eat 16 pounds of grain for each pound of meat you could harvest from that cow (or lamb or pig). Therefore, even if we vegetarians kill plants, we kill far fewer plants than meat-eaters do.
Cumincoriandercardamom, good job! And good luck with the diet.
Though I do not feel strongly about one's choice, I do believe that if they make a commitment and promote that commitment or endorse it, they should stick to it..
I am on south beach diet phase 1 and am a true vegan for more than a week. It does feel good 🙂
1. holy shit amazing post. great, great, amazing stuff. i personally think that the meat lobby pays those "ex-veg" folks to speak on meat's behalf. it's a propaganda ploy intended to keep the masses ignorant as to the real deal behind veganism and meat eating. bravo to you for this post!
2. the soup looks spectacular! printing the recipe now 😀
Vaishali...you said it! All this talk about sustainable meat....as if its more humane to eat that instead of non-sustainable meat? Killing is killing no matter which way you look at it. And to add to your argument...since I went vegan, my BP has come down w/o medication, my husband's cholesterol has come down w/o medication, we have both lost weight and are at a comfortable weight...I mean, whats not to love about being vegan???
I'm sure you'll get a lot of comments based on this post.. 🙂 Interesting articles you mention as I just found a link from MSNBC about the same topic of "former vegetarians". I say, keep up the good fight on your end and if you continue to present vegan recipes on your blog, I'll keep cooking them up for my family. 🙂
I know vegans say they are not eating meat because it is killing a life, but plants are alive as well. How do vegans justify eating plant based foods?
If you are truly concerned about plants being killed then a vegan diet is the way to go. Countless thousands more plants are fed to animals used for food, so by going vegan you kill far fewer plants. Also, plants do not possess a central nervous system, thus do not feel pain as a sentient life does. The difference between cutting up a cucumber and a live pig should be fairly obvious. When you cut the grass on your lawn it grows back, not so with the pig. I believe we are meant to eat the plants. We help plants continue to proliferate when we eat them. We eat, say, some blackberries and, in nature, we would poop and the seeds would sprout in the poop and grow a new bush. It's a beautiful thing. Nothing but cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. grow from the poop made of the abused remains of a sentient being.
As far as you know, plants don't feel pain. Are you sure that a central nervous system is the one that enables us animals to feel pain.
Listen, to each their own, stop trying to convince us non-vegetarian eaters that we are killing an animal etc.,
Its a personal choice and stop berating someone who eats meat and vice versa! Just because technology is available as a communicative tool, Vaishali, you don't have to stuff your opinionated thoughts in a berating way. WE each have the freedom to do what pleases us, and have the good lord to answer to. So you choose your path and we choose ours!
Anon, I open my blog to all opinions and therefore I'm posting your comment, but being civil wouldn't hurt if you want me to take you seriously. I am not trying to convince anyone that meat-eaters are killing animals-- that's pretty much a given fact. Besides, as you can see from most of the comments here, I am not alone in wanting the killing to stop. Most meat-eaters choose to ignore the fact that animals suffer immensely before they become food for us. Ex-vegetarians are worse, because many of them know about the cruelty but don't have the moral strength to stick with their choices.
Finally, it's my blog so goes without saying that I can opine all I want.
hmmmm....doesn't like all the vegan talk and yet feels compelled to visit a vegan website and read through a vegan blog. Errrr.....hello???
There was a research project many years ago that showed that plants are sensitive to the deaths of other organisms. It had very strict controls. After hooking up electrodes to the plants, and rigging up a automated basket to dump brine shrimp into very hot water with a randomized timer, the researchers left the room, and let the experiment run.
They clearly got reactions from the plants when the shrimp died.