Butter Bean and Vegetable Curry

Nov 4, 2013 | 6 comments


This recipe is one I have had in my recipe book for a very long time. As is the case with many curries, it is very variable. You can change the vegetables around pretty much to whatever you want


for 4 servings, you will need

175g dried butter beans, 500g/£1.09, 38p
3 tblsp veg oil, £1.25/litre, 6p
1 onion, (100g) peeled and chopped, 2kg/98p, 5p
1 clove garlic, crushed, 25p/bulb, 5p
350g potatoes, cut into chunky cubes (if you are following meal plan 4, try and use them unpeeled), £1.18/2.5kg, 17p
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves if you have them
125g frozen peas £1/kg, 13p
20g tomato puree 35p/142g, 5p
20g KTC mild curry powder 49p a pot,  10p (if you are following meal plan 4, you can use more if you like, there is plenty left over)

or, if you have them and want to use them
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
pinch of dried chilli
1tsp garam masala

for the curry on its own, 316 calories, 12g protein, 11g fat, 43g carb
24p per serving

soak the dried butter beans for several hours, or overnight. Drain, rinse, cover with water and cook until tender, about 1.5 hours. You can reduce the fuel use by bringing them to the boil and covering tightly, then turning off the heat. You may need to do this more than once. Or you can use a pressure cooker, I tend to do all my beans in that. It takes 45 minutes from dry in the packet to cooked. Or I have also soaked beans well, then put them in the Remoska with some water, covered with foil. Or you can cook them in a slow cooker, make sure you boil them fast for 10 minutes first tho.

If you don’t have dried beans, 125g dried beans is the equivalent of a tin. So you would need one and a third tin, or just use one tin, or round it up t 2 tins, depending on how much curry you need to make

Once they are cooked, (they need to be nice and soft) drain them, but keep some of the cooking water
Heat the oil and saute the onion and garlic until transparent. Add the spices (except the garam masala, if using) and let them cook out for a minute or two to release the oils. They soak up the oil, hence the 3 tblsps. Watch them carefully, they burn easily and will taste bitter

Now add everything else except the peas, adding enough of the cooking water to make the gravy. Simmer gently until the potatoes are nearly cooked, then add the peas and cook for a couple of minutes.

If using garam masala, stir it through now.
On meal plan 4, we serve this as it is


If you have any, and want to use it, you could serve with rice, or make some nan or flatbreads. Mango chutney would be good as a side, or any other chutney you want to use

imageimageYou can change the butter beans to any other dried bean or pulse you have, and of course the vegetables can be anything you want to use. You could experiment with the spices, using more of those you like. I have a whacking great 2kg jar of Pataks Tikka paste that I got  from Approved Foods for £2.49, and some sachets of Tandoori paste, either of those would be an ideal replacement for instance

for the curry on its own, 316 calories, 12g protein, 11g fat, 43g carb



  1. Julia


  2. Deborah McAndrew

    Thank you Lesley. 🙂

  3. Lesley

    It’s roughly 100g dried to a drained tin, so 1 and 3/4 tins. I would just use the 2 tins myself, quantities aren’t that vital

  4. Deborah McAndrew

    Hi Lesley, I have tins of beans in the cupboard. How many tins would I need in place of dried? Thank you.

  5. Lesley

    Thanks for that Betsy. Rose has some delicious ideas for vegetarian food

  6. Betsy

    You can now give her the credit. It’s Rose Elliot’s recipe from The Bean Book.

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