Serves a Crowd

5 Bean Curry

February  3, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

5 bean curry is an Indian curry that is a blend of 5 protein-rich beans. This curry is healthy and delicious thanks to the different beans, the creamy tangy tomato sauce, and a whole bunch of spices. It's a nice little twist on a regular bean curry. This curry can be eaten for lunch or dinner when accompanied by rice or bread. —Anu

Test Kitchen Notes

Nice vegetarian curry, although I've never added cream cheese (I used Laughing Cow Original) to a sauce in my life! I have an Instant Pot pressure cooker (one of those crazy ones that even has a Bluetooth in it), so I cooked the beans on the "Beans" manual setting according to how long they were soaked. The beans cooked for a total of 20 minutes and it worked out perfectly. I made a homemade garlic-ginger-onion paste. The quantity for the ground coriander was left out, so I used 1 teaspoon. There's no mention of adding salt throughout the curry cooking process, but it definitely needs it. —cratecooking

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup onion-ginger-garlic paste (see step 1)
  • 1/4 cup dried kidney beans, washed and soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup dried chickpeas, washed and soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup dried whole black gram (whole urad beans), washed and soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup dried black-eyed peas, washed and soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup dried whole green gram (mung beans), washed and soaked overnight
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon green chile, chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 piece cream cheese spread triangles, or 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Steamed rice, for serving
  1. Editors' Note: We made the onion-ginger-garlic paste blending 2 parts onion, 1 part fresh, peeled ginger, and 1 part garlic. Start by roughly chopping 1/2 an onion, then roughly chop the ginger and garlic so that you have equal amounts of each (and together, the amount ginger and garlic is equal to the amount of onion). Process in a food processor (or smash with a mortar and pestle) until you have a paste. Set aside.
  2. Drain all of the beans and put them in a pressure cooker along with the salt, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, bay leaf, and 3 cups of water.
  3. Cover the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 6 minutes at high pressure. Then simmer the mixture for 10 minutes. Alternatively, follow the instructions on your pressure cooker for pre-soaked beans. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil and butter in a separate pan. Add cumin seeds. When they start to sputter, add the onion-ginger-garlic paste and the chopped green chile. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add cream cheese spread and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more.
  6. Add chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground turmeric, and garam masala, along with 1/4 cup of water.
  7. Let the spices cook with the water for few minutes. Now add dried fenugreek, sugar, and the cooked beans, and mix well. Cook on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until gravy thickens.
  8. Add more water if needed and season with salt. Serve hot with steamed rice. Enjoy!
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  • Anu
  • Shazna
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7 Reviews

Shazna December 31, 2015
This was just fantastic. I used ghee instead of butter and a different blend of beans that I cooked together in the pressure cooker for about 20mins. I omitted the sugar and added chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice at the end. I'll definitely be rotating this recipe regularly. Thank you!
Heather March 30, 2015
This is so delicious. I love the variety of makes mono-bean recipes seem a little boring in comparison. The flavors all come together in a comforting, smolder-y way (part of that smolder may be that I used a whole serrano, seeds and all...and would do it again). As I didn't have dried fenugreek leaves, I used celery leaves and a pinch of ground fenugreek seed, after an internet search for substitutions. I'm very grateful for this recipe. Just what I needed during an end-of-March snowstorm in Maine.
Anu March 2, 2015
Cream would suit more for this recipe!
rachiti March 2, 2015
What would be the more traditional dairy option for this recipe - cream or yogurt?
Anu March 1, 2015
Hi Robin & JJGood, you can cook beans covered in a regular pot over medium heat. It might take about 1.5 hours or a bit longer! You can also substitute raw beans with canned beans if you wish.
Robin F. March 1, 2015
Can you please tell me how to make this without a pressure cooker?
Thank you
JJGood March 1, 2015
How should I cook the beans if I don't have a pressure cooker?