Curried kidney beans and vegetables


I’m Japanese, so I love the taste of curry. (If you’ve been to Japan you’d know this makes sense.) This is a very quick and easy vegan dish that could be the main protein in a bento, or a filler. You can use any kind of beans here, but I do like the dense rather fudgey texture of kidney beans. They’re not just for eating with chili! I’ve made this quite spicy, but you can tone it down if you like by adjusting the amount of chili powder. The sweetness of the vegetables counteracts the spiciness. It tastes terrific at room temperature, and can be made in advance. It lasts for a couple of days at least in the refrigerator, though it tastes best when it’s freshly made so I don’t make a big amount at one time.

All the spices used were bought at an Indian grocery store, which has a high turnover, and always has fresh spices. I don’t use Japanese curry powder for this kind of recipe because it’s ridiculously expensive here. (And yes, I do use pre-ground powders since they save a lot of time.)

Recipe: Curried kidney beans with vegetables

This makes about 3-4 bento servings.

  • 1 can (400g / about 1 lb) kidney beans
  • 1 large red sweet pepper
  • 1/2 medium carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • A small piece of fresh ginger (about 1 cm /1/inch long), peeled
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 Tbs. curry powder (I used a kind called “Madras Hot Curry”)
  • 1/2 Tbs. garam masala
  • 1 tsp., more or less, of hot red chili powder (you can omit this if the curry powder alone is spicy enough. Taste!)
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper

Chop up the pepper, carrot and onion into fairly small dice. (You can do this if you like by pulse-chopping it in a food processor, but I prefer the chunkiness of hand cutting.) Chop the ginger and garlic flnely.

Put all the vegetables into a large non-stick frying pan. Add a little water so that it comes up to about half the height of the vegetables. Over high heat, ‘stir-fry’ the vegetables in the water, adding a little more water if it gets sticky on the bottom of the pan, until the vegetables are tender. (This trick which I use quite a lot saves on the amount of oil added.)

Push the vegetables to one side so that there’s a clear space on the pan. Add the oil, and the spices, and stir around so that the spices infuse the oil. Stir together with the vegetables.

Drain off the can of kidney beans, reserving about 1/2 cup of the liquid. Add the kidney beans to the pan, with the reserved liquid. Toss around until the kidney beans are coated with the spicy sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

You can use this in a rice-based bento, or with flat bread like naan or pita.

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Yay! You're back!

Hi Maki -

Glad you’re feeling better!

Great curry recipe!

I just made this for my dinner tonight and it was great! I’ll eat the rest for lunch tomorrow. I do have a question, though. Is it best to add the garlic and ginger to the oil with the rest of the spices? Or should you add them with the rest of the vegetables at the beginning? I added them with the oil and the rest of the spices, and thought the end result was a good one, but I thought I would ask just to make sure. :)

Whenever I use chopped

Whenever I use chopped onion, garlic or ginger in a recipe I usually saute it first, so that the flavors can permeate the whole dish. You want them to disappear into everything. On the other hand spices are added a bit later here because you don’t want them to burn. (If you were making a stewed dish you could add them earlier.) Hope that helps!

Thanks for the reply! I

Thanks for the reply! I made another batch for myself this morning to take to work for lunch, and this time I added the garlic and ginger in with the veggies. I was wary of overcooking the garlic, but everything turned out very nicely. This recipe will surely be made many times more. :)

Hot or Cold?

I’m ready to try this right now for lunch! Do the beans merely get coated in the pan or are they cooked (or at least warmed)? Can it be eaten warm or is this better chilled? Bento #50 is enticing!

They get tossed around in

They get tossed around in the veg/spices until they are warmed through. They’re good hot or at room temperature!

This tasted good while hot,

This tasted good while hot, and I just tasted some cold from the refrigerator, Also good. Will serve today as part of a salad. For the first time I used hot Korean red pepper — half the amount — and it’s hot. Next time I’ll use less…. A delicious, interesting recipe with crunch! Thank you!

So good!

Thank you for that recipe, it's simply great! <3 I made a big batch of it a few days ago and I also used it to season pasta (orecchiette kind): try it if you haven't yet!

Re: Curried kidney beans and vegetables


Thanks for all of these great recipes! I tried this one but I dont think it turned out exactly right. Would you be able to share a little more info? When stir frying, do we cook the water away until there's nothing left?

Thank you

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