Azuki Beans in a Fragrant Spicy Tomato Gravy

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Azuki Beans in a Fragrant Spicy Tomato Gravy

The colorful little red bean spelled variously as azuki, aduki or adzuki is also known sometimes as the red mung bean, with which it shares not only a visual appeal but also a delicate sweetness. But while mung beans are widely used in savory preparations, it's much more difficult to find savory dishes featuring azuki beans which are far more often simply boiled with sugar to make a sweet red bean paste. This is a strange scarcity because both beans are an excellent foundation for savory cooking.

In fact, these jewel-like beans may be used in any recipe calling for mung beans, but there are differences — the azuki bean has a richer and nuttier flavor than the green mung bean which has a somewhat earthier taste and texture, so the two beans really do add a distinct character to the dish they are added to.

Azuki Beans in a Fragrant Spicy Tomato Gravy

These azuki beans cooked in tomatoes and spices are easy to prepare and go well with a side grain such as rice. Frying the spices in oil before adding the beans adds a pleasing smokiness in addition to the heat that makes fresh mixed vegetables dressed with a basic vinaigrette a refreshing complement to this meal.

Azuki Beans in a Fragrant Spicy Tomato GravyAzuki Beans in a Fragrant Spicy Tomato Gravy
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on March 18, 2019

Plump and tender sweet red azuki beans simmered in a fragrant spiced tomato gravy

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  • 1 cup dried azuki beans
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • 1 to 2 dried whole red chlies
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 fresh red chili, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango) powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
  • Rinse the beans and soak in enough water to cover for 6 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse. Set aside.

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds if using and dried red chilies. Cook until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop — about 60 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the garlic, ginger and fresh chili. Stir for a minute or two and then toss in the spices and amchoor powder and asafetida if using. Stir for another minute until the spices are fragrant, and then stir in the tomato. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes until the tomato thickens.

  • Pour in 2 1/2 cups of water and the drained beans. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender — about 50 to 60 minutes. Add a bit more water to the pan if necessary and enough to reach your desired consistency.

  • When the beans are tender, turn off the heat and stir in the salt and lime juice. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings

Azuki Bean Curry

Other azuki bean recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Spicy Adzuki Beans with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Mushrooms
Roasted Carrot and Azuki Bean Salad
Spicy Azuki Bean Risotto
Yunnan Stir-Fried Azuki Beans and Green Pepper

1 comment:

Shaheen said...

Thank you Lisa for joining in and continue to support MLLA. I really like adzuki beans, but sadly don't cook them enough. This by the way, looks really delicious and full of flavour and depth.