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Healthy Vegetarian Foods

Sugar Beans Curry

Ever since I can remember and growing up in a Gujarati home in Stanger (now Kwa Duguza), sugar beans or red Canadian wonder beans has been a staple at the Saturday lunch (Saturday lunch was an event that carried on the whole day) table – yes Saturdays were spent cooking, baking and cooking. It never was just sugar beans, rice, salad and roti – it was the beans + rice + 8-10 types of salad + 3 types of roti + a host of other sides. Sugar beans – is a power packed nutritious dish – however I think with all the extras – the nutritional value of the sugar beans was lost – but I can assure you every Saturday lunch at the “Big House” (as our house was known – in the little town) was a memorable event – one that I would not want to trade for anything in the world. Lunch was never just lunch – it lingered on to tea/chai with all the trimmings and then there was boiled white mealies or madumbis or nuts and Saturdays ended with an overly full belly around 8pm and back in the day there was not much knowledge of green tea to digest the days indulgences.

Sugar Beans-Serves 4

500ml sugar beans

40ml cooking oil

2-3 pieces of cinnamon

2-5ml carom seeds (helps with the gas and digestion)

2.5ml aniseed (helps with the gas and digestion)

2-3 curry leaves

65ml chopped onion

50ml chopped coriander stalks (keep leaves for garnish)

5ml chilli powder

10 ml cumin powder

10ml coriander powder

2ml turmeric

10ml pounded ginger & garlic

250ml grated tomatoes

7ml salt

10ml lemon juice

50ml chopped coriander


  • Soak beans overnight – wash and add a pinch of each of the powder spices before boiling in a pressure cooker for about 20 minutes
  • Place oil in a heavy based pot on medium heat, add the cinnamon sticks, carom seeds, aniseed and curry leaves and allow to splutter
  • Now add the onions and chopped coriander stalks – allow this to cook till golden brown—add the other spices, the ginger and garlic and stir for a few seconds – before adding the tomatoes – mix well lower heat and allow to cook for 5-10min
  • Add the boiled beans, season with salt and lemon juice and allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes
  • Garnish with chopped coriander serve hot with roti or basmati rice and generous helping of a side salad


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