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Delicious Broad Bean Curry

Delicious Broad Bean Curry

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Broad Bean Curry is how we know it here in SA, is actually another staple dish in most Indian homes. It is also a popular curry used to make bunny chows.

Broad Bean Curry

Kidney Bean Curry

Bunny Chows is a hollowed out bread that’s filled with curry. If you’re South African you will know exactly what I am talking about. Nothing beats a good bunny chow!

I have had several requests for this Broad Bean Curry. I don’t cook it often because my family prefers the Barlotti Bean. 

However, this tastes equally delicious and they are crazy not to love it as much. For me personally, it is more delicious than the Barlotti Bean Curry.

Cooking the Broad Bean Curry

I live at high altitude and I try and mention this often in my recipes. The reason I mention it because it does affect cooking times.

Everything at high altitude takes a lot longer to cook. We therefore may use more liquid in our dishes.

If you are living at sea level please note that your curry may cook a lot quicker than the time I suggest. You may also require half the amount of water I recommend.

Another thing to remember is that dry beans of any sort never cooks in a hurry at high altitude. It takes forever so I don’t even try. 

If you are living at high altitude like me I suggest you use a pressure cooker or instant pot to boil your beans. I also suggest you boil your potatoes or pressure cook them until they are slightly tender.

This definitely speeds up the cooking time. However, I am going to give you the full stovetop method for this recipe.

Please use your discretion in terms of water and cooking time. If you have cooked dry beans before you will have an idea of how to boil it before cooking.

Today I did cook my beans a little differently to the way I usually cook it as I was short on time. I will give you the details in the notes so you can choose what works for you.

Soaking the beans

It is best to soak your beans overnight. This also helps with the cooking process as it softens the beans a little.

Serving the Bean Curry

This Broad Bean Curry is best eaten with Roti or you can make a bunny chow. You can also serve it with rice but personally I don’t think it tastes as good with rice.

A must have is some Sambals on the side. Trust me you can’t eat it without some of that tangy side of sambals.


I am South Indian and I suppose it’s where the tamarind comes into the curry. As you will note I don’t add a lot of tamarind to my curry but trust me it makes all the difference to the dish.

Please note that you do not want a sour curry so you really need just a pea size of tamarind, thus the 1/4 teaspoon. I also add a pinch of sugar just to balance the flavors.

My dear cousin from Perth is an absolute amazing cook and she’s always giving me some of her cooking tips. I learnt about the addition of tamarind from her. 

I hope you love this curry as much as I do. For those that waited patiently for this recipe I hope you enjoy cooking it. Feel free to please drop me a comment if you do try it.


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5 from 1 vote

Broad Bean Curry

This Broad Bean Curry is totally delicious, so good for a bunny chow
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword broad bean curry, indian curry recipes, vegetarian curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 cup broad beans soaked in water overnight
  • 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into fours
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional)
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star aniseed
  • 1 sprig curry leaf
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel
  • 2 tbsp masala
  • 2 roma tomatoes skin removed and grated
  • 1/4 tsp tamarind
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt
  • fresh coriander
  • 1-2 cups water


  • Soak beans overnight. Rinse and drain the excess water. Place the beans in a pot with 3 cups of water and boil on medium heat for 30-40 minutes or until soft and tender
  • Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a pot on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds pop, add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and star aniseed. When fragrant, turn the heat to a low setting, add the curry leaf and onion. Fry until onion is golden brown
  • Add ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute
  • Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel and masala. Fry for 2 minutes. Add a few drops of water if required
  • Add the potatoes and allow it to cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt. Add a few drops of water to prevent scorching
  • Add the tomatoes. Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add half cup of water and allow the potatoes to simmer until slightly tender. Add more water in between cooking time only if required
  • Mix the tamarind in 1/4 cup warm water and add it to the potatoes together with the beans. Add a pinch of sugar
  • Cook for 5 minutes and add 1 cup of water. Use your discretion in terms of how much water you require as this depends on how thick you would prefer the gravy.
  • Simmer on low heat until potatoes are fully cooked.
  • You can add a tablespoon of butter towards the end of cooking if you want to be indulgent
  • Add some fresh, chopped coriander and serve hot


  1. If you are living at high altitude you can boil your beans in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. The 40 minutes boiling time is for stovetop and will work for those cooking at sea level. 
  2. You can also boil your potatoes until slightly tender
  3. However if you boil your potatoes you will need to then cook the beans with the spices first and then add your potatoes to the curry. 




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Friday 18th of March 2022

Used this recipe but with butter beans. Came out great🙂

Michael Houston

Thursday 20th of May 2021

I tried this recipe recently and found it a good alternative to your sugar bean recipe. (I'm still using the cumin seeds from the your sugar bean recipe instead of the mustard seeds. I'll need to try this mustard seed variation soon) It was quite funny when I was at our local Durban spice shop and was asking for tamarind. The owner looked at me very strangely when I mentioned that it was for a bean curry. She suggested rather using it for a seafood curry. So needless to say I was extremely nervous about adding it as a pot of curry is a fair investment of time and effort. But I trust you, Lorraine. You've never led me wrong! So I added just a quarter teaspoon even though I double your recipe quantities. The sour flavour was definitely the missing ingredient that made the difference between good and great! I then took the plunge and doubled the tamarind to a half teaspoon in the next batch. That turned out to be the perfect amount for me. Since then I've added it almost every time I make bean curry. The one time I left it out I actually really missed it!


Thursday 20th of May 2021

Thank you so much for trusting my recipes Michael. Yes, the tamarind does work for this particular Bean Curry, not sure about any other bean curry as I haven't tried it. Not many people use tamarind in a bean curry but I am glad you agree that it works. I do come from a South Indian home where tamarind was used a lot more than in North Indian homes so I guess it's why many people are not quite sure if it will work. Good luck with your cooking and take care:-)

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