Curried Black Beans with Tomatoes and Spices

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
black bean curry

Smoky and hearty, this robust concoction goes especially well with a side grain dish and salad. Though black beans are not native to Indian cooking, they sure do go well with Indian spicing. You may also want to consider serving this dish with your favorite Indian flatbread. Easy to prepare if you have all of the staples on hand that are necessary for Indian legume dishes. My craving for black beans certainly was met with a reward with this dish. Spicy, nourishing and just tasty and good for you.

Curried Black Beans with Tomatoes and SpicesCurried Black Beans with Tomatoes and Spices
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on June 13, 2012

A hot, robust, smoky and earthy Indian-spiced black bean curry

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes

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  • 1 1/2 cups dried black beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 4 cups water

  • 3 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 fresh green chilies, seeded and finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (methi)
  • 1 tablespoon dried curry leaves, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard powder
  • pinch of asafetida
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • garam masala for garnish
  • Rinse the black beans and soak for 8 hours or overnight covered in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and add the turmeric and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender.

  • Heat the ghee or oil over medium heat in a frying pan. When hot, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and stir for a minute or until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to pop. Add the onion to the pan and stir until it begins to brown. Now toss in the garlic, ginger and fresh chilies. Stir and fry for another minute or two.

  • Now add the dried leaves, spices and salt, and stir and fry for another minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are reduced and the sauce has thickened. Pour the tomato spice mixture into the pan of beans and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the beans have thickened. Stir in most of the parsley or cilantro, reserving a little for garnish, and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with the remaining parsley or cilantro and a sprinkle of garam masala.

Makes 6 servings

black bean curry Indian-style

More black bean dishes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen you are sure to enjoy:
Spicy Tamarind Black Beans
Mexican-Style Kamut Berry, Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salad
Cornmeal Crusted Chili
Black Bean and Goat Cheese Quesadillas


julia said...

For someone without black beans, what would be the closest bean to substitute with? This looks delicious!

Lisa Turner said...

Hi Julia;

I think you could use kidney beans instead for a good result.

Anonymous said...

just made them. love them. hot! but it works... :0P so glad i just brought back a litre of ghee from bombay. thanks! well done!

Greg said...

Anonymous - If you bought ghee back when Mumbai was still called Bombay, I hate to think of the condition of it now. LOL