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Monday, 12 January 2015

Butter Bean Curry, A Simple 30-minute Weekday Meal

Butter bean curry, lima bean curry, Mauritian curry

A weekly regular at the Lovlie Cocoon is the 30-minute curry with whatever we have on hand — sometimes a medley of vegetables, sometimes beans and sometimes a mix of both. Last week, as I came back from work, Boyfriendlovlie had already started prepping some vegetables and was just about to start making dinner.

My usual ritual whenever I come back home, whether it's hot or cold outside, is to pour myself a nice cup of tea — orange pekoe with a good dollop of oat milk. I think this long-dated childhood habit is nowhere on the way to dissipate; after all, tea makes everything better. Don't you think?

Watching Boyfriendlovlie as I sipped on my invigorating cuppa, I instantly decided to grab the camera and start filming. He had already told me he was making a simple butter bean curry. And, since a curry recipe was on my list of new videos to make, I thought why not film it unplanned and see how the footage turns out. I am glad I did that. The shots were usable, so I decided to put the video up.

By the way, if you are wondering about what butter beans are, they are more commonly known as lima beans in the US and Canada. I learnt this when I came to Canada. In Europe, they are widely used in a number of cuisines and dishes. I find them to be less popular here or maybe it is just because I haven't been to many places yet!

30-minute Butter Bean Curry

Ingredients (serves 2)
300g (about 4 cups) boiled butter beans (you can also use canned beans)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 tablespoon curry powder*
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
2 fresh roma tomatoes, diced
10 curry leaves (dried or fresh)
1 green chili (optional), cut in half
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon soft brown sugar
4-5 sprigs cilantro or coriander leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste

 *You can use your favourite curry powder but the one I used in this curry is salan masala, which you can find at most Indian/Asian stores. The ingredients in the masala was coriander, turmeric, garlic, mustard and fenugreek.

  • Heat the coconut oil in a pan.
  • Next add the curry powder, turmeric, paprika and mince ginger.
  • Let the spices roast in the oil for about 30 seconds. 
  • Then gradually mix them up to make a paste in the pan. Allow this to roast for a couple of minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water and mix the masala paste with the water. Let this simmer for about 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced and masala is well roasted.
  • Now add in the tomatoes along with 1/2 cup of water.
  • Add the curry leaves and the chili. Stir and leave this to cook for another 3 minutes.
  • When tomatoes have soften, start to mash them into the sauce (you don't have to mash all of them).
  • Add the butter beans. You may adjust the sauce consistency with some more water at this stage. (as the butter bean cook and some of the starch disintegrate in the sauce, it will thicken).
  • Add the lemon juice and sugar.
  • Leave to simmer for another 5 minutes. Add coriander (cilantro).
  • Give everything a good stir and turn off the heat.

Serve over a bed of basmati rice.

Butter bean curry, lima bean curry, Mauritian curry


  1. Love the video and how it really focuses on how to made the curry dish closeup so you really see what's going on. Great job! I've never seen such large white butter beans before. I like lima beans but they're usually smaller and light green in color. :-)

    1. I've seen lima beans in the dried format too, they are the same cream colour. I think they do tend to be smaller though but taste the same. I've actually never had the green lima bean.

  2. I always thought lima beans and butter beans were the same. Thanks for clearing that up. This curry looks really wonderful, I love beans as a main ingredient in a dish.

    1. I find that the the green beans are often referred to as lima and the dried ones are called butter beans. But I do find some canned lima beans which are not the green ones. But anyway, I really love butter beans!

  3. What a great post and video. My husband and I just watched it and I swear I could smell the curry cooking! I need to get some dried curry leaves to keep on hand.

    1. Haha, yes the spices smell really nice when they are roasting. And yes dried curry leaves are a good thing to keep in the pantry, they come in very handy when I can't find fresh ones.

  4. Yum! Now I just need to find an Asian grocery store that isn't 45 minutes away. Curry <3

  5. Your curry looks delicious!!! I love lima or butter beans and have seen them dried and canned, I find them tastier than red kidney beans!


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