On the days I do not eat meat, I try to cook something that is rich in fiber, nutritious and filling. As I was browsing through Anjum Anand’s New Indian cookbook, cannellini beans caught my eye. The picture of the curry is colorful and appetizing. This is a tangy coconut based gravy with cannellini beans. At first I was unsure how a tamarind based coconut curry would taste and if it would even pair well with roties. I used less tamarind than the recipe called for and the taste, I would not say it was delicious curry I ever tasted but it was not bad either. Let me put it this way, we finished the bowl clean and did not have any leftovers. I won’t be making this curry on a regular basis but I would not mind making it once in a while, for a variation in our regular menu. Author suggests serving this curry as a stew with some baked bread or as a soup by semi pureeing the curry. I like the soup suggestion as I like cannellini beans in soups and might serve it as soup the next time I make it.
Source: Anjum Anand’s New Indian
Cooking Time: 20 – 25 minutes
Serves: 2 – 4
- 15.5 oz. Cannellini Beans drained and rinsed, approx. 1 ½ cups after draining the beans
- 3 – 4 tbsp. Oil (I used 3 tbsp.)
- Pinch (⅛ tsp.) of Asafoetida ~ Hing
- ½ – 1 tsp. Mustard Seeds (I used ½ tsp.)
- 6 – 10 Curry Leaves
- 1 small Onion chopped or ½ cup chopped Onion
- 1 – 1 ½ tbsp. Ginger Garlic Paste
- ¼ – ½ tsp. Turmeric Powder
- ½ – ¾ tsp. Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
- ½ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp. Coriander Powder
- ⅔ cups Coconut Milk or approximately ¼ – ⅓ can Coconut Milk (I used lite coconut milk)
- ¾ – 1 cup Water (I used 1 cup)
- 10 Cherry Tomatoes (I used medium sized vine tomato cut into 8 – 10 pieces)
- ¼ – 1 tsp. Tamarind Paste (adjust to taste and check note below)
- 1 tsp. Brown Sugar or Jaggery (I did not use)
- 1 – 2 tbsp. grated fresh or frozen Coconut (I did not use it)
- Cilantro to garnish
- Open the cannellini can, drain and rinse the beans. Keep aside until needed.
- Heat oil in a pan and add pinch of asafoetida and lightly roast it.
- Add mustard seeds and let the seeds splutter.
- Add curry leaves and let the leaves change color.
- Add onions and sauté until soft.
- Add ginger garlic paste and sauté for a minute.
- Add salt, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and mix for about 30 seconds.
- Add coconut milk, water and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 5 – 10 minutes. I simmered for about 5 -6 minutes.
- Add beans, tomatoes cook for about 5 minutes until spices and flavors blend in, and the tomatoes are soft.
- Add tamarind paste, sugar if using, and mix well.
- Smash some of the beans using the back of the spoon to thicken the curry.
- Simmer for 3-5 minutes until tamarind blends into the curry.
- Taste the curry and adjust the seasoning, tartness, and spice to taste.
- Garnish with cilantro, fresh or frozen grated coconut, and serve with rice or Indian bread.
- Tamarind – the recipe called for ¾ – 1 tsp tamarind paste. Also, the tanginess of the paste varies from brand to brand. I used Tamicon paste. Since I was going to serve this curry with bread, I used only ¼ tsp. tamarind paste. If I were serving it with rice, I would have added a little more paste for a tangy gravy.
- Serving Suggestions – I served the curry with roti but it can also be served as stew with some bread. OR, semi puree the curry and serve it as soup. While I was eating the curry with roti, I wished I had some green chilies to bite on. Next time I would saute some green chilies and serve it as a condiment along with the curry.