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kidney bean curry

kidney bean curry with cilantro in brown metal pot.

Spicy, plant-based, oil-free kidney bean curry is layered with the flavors of fragrant Indian spices, onions, jalapenos and sweet tomato sauce with lemon.


Units Scale
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, diced (remove the core and seeds to keep the heat down)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 4 medium tomatoes, diced (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tsp. date paste or another sweetener
  • 3 - 15 oz. (400 gm.) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Serve with rice
  • Chopped cilantro and extra lemon wedges for garnish


  1. In a medium soup pot, add the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and bay leaves cook until the cumin seeds become fragrant (about 3 minutes). Continuously stir and move the spices so they don’t burn.
  2. Add the diced onions and jalapenos and sauté for about 7-8 minutes until the onions start to soften and brown slightly. Add water a tablespoon at a time if they begin to stick.
  3. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute. Stir constantly to avoid burning the garlic.
  4. Add the remaining spices (coriander, turmeric, cayenne and garam masala), the tomatoes and date paste. Mix everything, cover the pot and simmer the tomatoes for 10 minutes to allow them to break down. Mash a few of the tomatoes after they simmer to help the sauce thicken. 
  5. Add the vegetable broth and beans, cover and cook for 30 minutes. You can mash a few of the beans to help thicken the sauce if you want.
  6. Remove from the heat and squeeze the juice of ½ a lemon over the top. Give it a last stir and get ready for some flavor.
  7. Serve over rice.
  8. Garnish with chopped cilantro and more lemon wedges.


  • If you use ground fenugreek in place of the seeds, add them with the rest of the spices when you add the tomatoes. Use ½ teaspoon ground for 1 teaspoon of seeds.
  • If you want a thicker chili texture or the curry is too thin for your liking, increase the final simmering time with the beans and vegetable broth. Likewise, you can reduce the broth to 2 cups (although it will reduce as it cooks).
  • Kidney bean curry is wonderful over just plain old rice, but you can use another grain such as quinoa and don’t forget about lemon cauliflower rice. Yummy!

Keywords: kidney bean curry