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Healthy Vegetarian Foods

Double Beans

These beans look so beautiful, however once cooked they lose their colour and pattern, but they do taste wonderful once cooked. It is not easily available, however Fruit & Veg City do keep it sometimes and I am sure Indian owned green grocers will stork them. This wonderful vegetable that is very common in Kwa Zulu Natal and it is called “Double Beans”, however as per Google it is also referred to as Lima beans, but from experience Lima beans are green in colour and these beans have the most amazing pink and purple colours once they have been shelled. They have such a rich buttery flavour and texture once cooked. We generally cooked as a curry with tomatoes, however I have also steamed them (this method ensured they retained a bit of their colour & pattern) and added them to a mixed Asian leaf salad and it was divine.


Beans in their Shells


Shelled Beautiful Beans

Double Beans

30ml cooking oil

1 medium onion chopped

2-3 curry leaves

1-2 dry chillies

2-3 small pieces of cinnamon

1 star anise

5ml fennel seeds

1 chopped green chilli

5ml ginger and garlic paste

5ml coriander powder

5ml cumin powder

2ml turmeric powder

5ml chilli flakes

100 ml grated tomatoes

500ml peeled double beans

5ml salt (to taste)

45ml chopped fresh coriander (for flavour & garnish)

Beans Cooked in my Pressure Cooker (i refer to my pressure cooker as my trusted right hand)


  1.  1.  Heat oil in a heavy based pot, add the onions – allow to brown, add the curry leaves, dry chillies, cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, green chili and cook for a few seconds before adding the powder spices
  2. Lower heat, stir the mixture and add the double beans, cover pot and allow to cook till the double beans are soft and tender before adding the tomatoes.
  3. Once the tomatoes are added allow the mixture to cook for a further 10-15minutes on low heat, and this will allow all of the flavours to come together.
  4. Alternately use a pressure cooker instead of a pot, and follow the same steps as above, but you can add the tomatoes and beans all at once and bring to a boil and cover the pressure cooker and attach the whistle and allow to cook for about 5 whistles or 5minutes before switching the stove off and removing cooker from the heat
  5. Once the cooker has cooled, remove the lid and season with salt and coriander leaves
  6. Serve with whole wheat rotis, or basmati rice and a fresh kachoomer salad

Kachoomer Salald

1 medium carrot grated

Some shredded iceberg lettuce

A small piece of cucumber finely sliced

A few pieces of finely sliced red onion

1 small tomato finely sliced

10ml vinegar


 Mix all of the above together and add about 10ml of ordinary white vinegar



Comments: 4

  • Sous Chef


    I’ve seen them often but didn’t know what to do with them, thanks for this.

    • Healthy Vegetarian Foods By Usha Singh


      You are most welcome, they taste wonderful, i also just steam them add some salt, pepper & lemon juice and then put it on a baking sheet and bake in the oven–it makes a wonderful healthy munchy!!

  • mitzireddy


    These beans are on my list of must buy whenever I go to Durbs – enjoy them cooked in meat dishes as well. Nice post and pics, Usha.

    • Healthy Vegetarian Foods By Usha Singh


      Thanks Mitzi, i love them and we get it at the local Food Lovers Market at Park Meadows.

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