Cannellini Beans Curry

Cooking from Cookbook Challenge, CCChallenge, Beans Curry, Coconut Milk Curry

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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.

Cooking from Cookbook Challenge, CCChallenge, Beans Curry, Coconut Milk Curry

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 (1/8 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
  • 2/3 cups Coconut Milk or approximately ¼ – 1/3 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.

Events: This is my entry for this week’s Cooking from Cookbook Challenge and Nupur’s My Legume Love Affair # 76, an event started by Susan and is currently being organized by Lisa.

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8 thoughts on “Cannellini Beans Curry

  1. That is one colorful and creamy looking curry. I think I have couple of cans of cannellini beans that I can use to make this dish.
    I posted something with legumes too. Will send to MLLA — it’s been a while I sent an entry there.

  2. Love your pictures Usha, everything is so beautifully setup..coming to the curry, must say it’s quite a new take on the addition of coconut and tamarind and on top it has tomatoes as well..I do remember one other pulusu we make, were we mix these two and with alasanda…of course that’s served with rice..good one to have a variation..:)

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