Kala’s Dry Butter Beans Curry

We have a joke about Chennai rain: January-October – water scarcity; November & December – water scares city :). On some days we are unable to shop due to flooding. It is wise to stock different kinds of legumes to make curries when vegetables are not available. I created this Dry Butter Beans Curry as it is easy to prepare, can be served with chappati or rice, and has an interesting flavour.

Dry Butter Beans Curry - Kalas Kalai

Kala’s Dry Butter Beans Curry

Nutritive Value

The butter beans give 20g of protein per 100g. When served with chappati or rice, the combined protein delivers a very high quality vegetable protein.


  • 1 C Dry Butter Beans
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 4 Green Chillies
  • 2 medium Tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ C chopped Coriander Leaves
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin Powder
  • ½ tsp Garam Masala
  • ¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 T Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tsp Salt, or to taste

Grind together

  • 10 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 cm piece Ginger


  1. Soak the butter beans overnight or 10 hours. Discard the water and remove the skin.
  2. Pressure cook the butter beans for 10 minutes. Reserve the cooking water.
  3. Pulse the tomatoes in a mixie or blender for 10 seconds and speed 1.
  4. Heat the oil in a non-stick kadai or wok.
  5. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. When they begin to crackle add the onion and green chillies. Stir.
  6. When the onion is translucent, add the ground ginger-garlic with a tablespoon of water.
  7. Stir till a fragrant aroma arises.
  8. Add the tomatoes and cook till the oil separates.
  9. Add the turmeric and cumin powders. Blend.
  10. Add the cooked butter beans with the cooking water and stir.
  11. Bring to boil, lower heat, and cook for a few minutes or till the gravy thickens.
  12. Add the garam masala powder and the coriander leaves.
  13. Stir for a minute and remove from heat.


  1. Do not pressure cook the butter beans for more than 10 minutes. Otherwise they will become mushy.
  2. I pulse the tomatoes to shorten cooking time and to improve flavour. If you wish you can use diced tomatoes.
  3. Garam masala powder is a mixture of spices available commercially. I prefer to use garam masala only in vegetable dishes.



2 thoughts on “Kala’s Dry Butter Beans Curry

  1. Lala all your receips are very good..I tried whatever you have posted in Facebook. Delicious Kala.I knew Kala is very brilliant .You are brilliant in receips too.God bless you with more strength and energy to cook .

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