Super Saucy Speckled Bean Curry

This has to be one of my favourite Durban-style curries. It is not only the ultimate comfort food, but it goes extremely well with any accompaniment depending on mood. Perfect for bunnies. Excellent with roti. So good with rice/mieliepap – or just enjoy a bowl on its own.

The secret is to use the cooking water from the beans. In short: you will NEVER get that velvet creamy gravy if you use tinned beans – the magic is in that bean stock. I use a pressure cooker and will soak one bag of speckled beans (‘sugar beans’) overnight in cold water to make a batch. I drain the soaking water and rinse the beans well, and then they get cooked up (in fresh water) in a whizz. Conventional cooking in a pot will give you the same results, but will take longer. Cook up large batches when you have time, it freezes really well too.

This curry works well with red masala blends. I often use  ‘All-In-One’ which is available at most spice shops. It gives you really good colour and flavour without too much chili – as most ‘Hot’ curry powders tend to do.

500g Sugar Beans, soaked overnight
60ml Coconut Oil
10ml Mustard Seeds
2 Bay Leaves
1 stick Cinnamon
3 Cloves
1 Star Anise
6 Cardamom Pods
1 Onion, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, mashed
1 TBSP Ginger, grated
1-2 TBSP ‘Red’ Masala (2 for a hot curry)
1 TBSP Medium Curry Powder
2 TBSP Garam Masala
2 large and very ripe Tomatoes, chopped
3 Potatoes, peeled and cubed
½ Cup Dhania, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Cook the beans until tender – either in a pressure cooker or pot. Reserve the cooking liquid.
2. Heat the oil in a large pot and add the mustard seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and cardamom. When mustard seeds begin to pop add the onion and saute until tender.
3. Add the garlic and ginger, and the ground spices to heat through. Add the tomatoes and saute for 2-3 minutes until tender.
4. Add potatoes and enough of the bean liquid to cover. Add more water as needed. Cook gently for 10 minutes and then add the beans. Continue to cook gently until potatoes are tender. Season well with salt and pepper. Add chopped dhania before serving.

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