This fragrant Indian-style Butter Bean Curry is what you'll want to have every midweek dinner from now on! It's flavorful and creamy, made to a vegan recipe with tinned butter beans and coconut milk. It's easy to make - even if you've never made curry before - and great for batch cooking. Plus, it's also freezer friendly!
Simply delicious served alongside basmati rice, homemade naan bread, coconut yogurt, and fresh coriander.
Creamy Butter Bean Curry Recipe
This bean curry recipe is:
- 100% vegan
- naturally gluten-free
- dairy-free and egg-free
- nut free
- easy to make
- a delicious mid-week dinner
- super creamy
- full of flavour
Why this recipe works
Bean curry recipes are one of the regulars when it comes to midweek meals in our household. They're simply so easy to make in one big pot and pack a whole bunch of flavor from the spices and ingredients used. This butter bean curry is freezer-friendly and also tastes delicious reheated, which makes it perfect for your vegan meal prep and batch cooking.
Ingredients for this recipe
For this flavorsome bean curry, you only need a handful of natural ingredients:
- tinned butter beans: for ease I use tinned, cooked butter beans in this bean curry. It speeds up the entire process of cooking this curry dish, but if you prefer, you can also use dried beans. Please see my notes in the 'Frequently Asked Questions' below.
- rape seed oil: rapeseed oil is grate for cooking your aromatics in this recipe. It has a high smoke point and is also flavor-neutral, which is perfect for this curry recipe.
- onion: I use yellow onions for this vegan recipe.
- garlic: garlic is a must in this recipe for me - I simply love the flavor. I recommend grating the garlic before adding it to the curry. This way it turns into a garlic paste that is easy to stir through the butter bean curry.
- salt: the salt helps draw the moisture out of the onion and garlic, helping them soften and cook quicker without searing the edges. It also adds a layer of base flavor to the curry. You can adjust the amount of salt at the end of the recipe to get the right saltyness for your personal taste.
- fresh ginger: fresh ginger is great in curries! I like to store my fresh ginger in the freezer and grate it for easy access.
- spices: the spices used in this curry recipe are ground coriander seeds, cumin, garam masala, curry powder, and chilli powder to taste. Simply use your favorite fragrant curry powder to season the curry dish and adjust the heat with some additional chili powder if needed.
- tinned tomatoes: for this butter bean curry recipe I always like to use organic chopped tomatoes.
- tinned coconut milk: the coconut milk adds a delicious creaminess to this curry and also tones down the heat from the ginger, curry powder and chili powder. Who doesn't love a wonderfully creamy bean curry?!
- spinach: for convenience I like to use frozen spinach, but you can also use a handful of fresh spinach to add some delicious greens to this vegan curry recipe.
- salt & pepper to taste
- basmati rice
- fresh coriander
- coconut yogurt
- homemade naan bread
How to make Butter Bean Curry (Step-by-Step)
This delicious vegan curry is super quick and easy to make, which makes it perfect for a mid-week dinner or some delicious batch-booking for the week ahead.
- drain the tinned butter beans
- dice the onion
- grate the garlic and ginger
- measure out your ingredients
Step 1: Cook the aromatics
Heat the rapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the diced onions. Sauté them for 4-5 minutes or until softened, then stir in the grated garlic and sprinkle with salt. Cook for another minute or until the garlic is fragrant.
Step 2: Add the curry spices
Add the grated ginger to the skillet and stir in all the spices: ground coriander seeds, cumin, garam masala, and curry powder. Adjust the heat of your curry with chili powder (optional). Toast all the spices for 1-2 minutes.
Step 3: Simmering
Pour the chopped tomatoes into the skillet alongside the frozen spinach and stir to combine. Add the drained butter beans and the coconut milk. Simmer the butter bean curry over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly or until it reaches your desired texture and smells fragrant. If needed adjust by adding small amounts of water at a time, or cook a little longer, if it's still too thin for your liking.
Lastly, season to taste with salt and pepper and you're ready to serve!
You can serve your Indian-style butter bean curry right away alongside cooked basmati rice, homemade naan bread, and a dollop of coconut yogurt. Finish up with a sprinkle of fresh coriander on top and enjoy!
Store this delicious bean curry in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or store it in the freezer for 3 months. To defrost, simply thaw it in the fridge overnight.
Frequently Asked Questions
This vegan bean curry recipe uses only ingredients that are naturally gluten-free
Absolutely! If you're using dried butter beans instead of tinned ones, measure 160g of dried beans, then soak overnight, discard the water and cook in fresh water until soft.
If you've gone a little overboard with the spice for your curry, then stir some coconut yogurt into the curry to reduce the heat.
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📖 Recipe Card
Butter Bean Curry
- 1 large skillet
- 1 spatula
- 2 14-oz tins of butter beans (400 g) drained
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 5 garlic cloves grated
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (400 g)
- 1 tin coconut milk (400 ml)
- 1 cup frozen spinach (150 g, 5.3 oz)
- chili powder to taste optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- basmati rice
- fresh coriander
- homemade naan bread
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and saute the onions for 4-5 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic and sprinkle with salt.
- Add the grated ginger to the skillet, then stir in all spices. Let them toast for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Pour the tinned tomatoes and spinach into the skillet and stir to combine. Add the drained butter beans and the coconut milk. Simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until thickened and fragrant.
- Season to taste with salt then serve your butter bean curry alongside basmati rice, homemade naan bread, fresh coriander, and a dollop of coconut yoghurt.
- Curry Powder: The flavor and spice in this curry are easily adjustable based on the curry powder that you use. I personally love Masala curry mixes with a bit of spice, so the amount outlined in this recipe is to my personal taste. If you love a bit of spice, go for a spicier curry mix - and choose a mild one if you're not into spicy. The bottom line: adjust the curry powder amount to your own taste and check the flavor of your curry as you cook. Curry powder is always an easy one to add more of at the end of the recipe, so if the flavor is a little too mild for your taste, simply add some more.
- Adjusting the spice: If you realize you've gone overboard with the spice of your curry, stir in some coconut yogurt to tone down the spice of the curry.
- Butter beans are also known as 'lima beans'
- Coconut Milk: swap for low-fat coconut milk if you are looking to reduce the fat content in this recipe.
- Nutritional information for reference only.
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