Recipes: Vegan/ Recipes: Vegetarian

Ask Meena: Red Kidney Bean Curry from Canned Beans

I woke up to this email from Suzan this morning:

Hi Meena! I stocked my pantry with tons of canned beans and chickpeas before the lockdown began. But now I’m at a loss for what to do with them. All the recipes I’ve come across for Rajma uses dried red kidney beans. Is there any way I can make a lip-smacking pot of Red Kidney Bean Curry from a can?

Since the last year, I’ve spent almost every Monday afternoon with a bunch of enthusiastic food-loving people teaching them quick and nutritious recipes at my ‘What’s for Dinner‘ classes. These classes mostly last for a little over an hour and include the cooking demo, as well as a lunch-sized portion of the cooked recipe for you to taste. Needless to say, the recipes usually take not more than 30 minutes from stove to plate, and this Red Kidney Bean Curry using canned beans is a perfect contender.

Recipe for Red Kidney Bean Curry taken from Visit site for detailed recipe.

Since I’m short on time, I love to take the help of canned and frozen food when I can. Canned beans are great to use when you’re in a pinch and want something to cook fast, like this quick and simple Red Kidney Bean Curry. The trick is to drain and rinse them thoroughly so that there’s no weird after-taste.

I was planning on doing this Red Kidney Bean Cury recipe for one of my upcoming classes – but with the current situation, I have no idea when that will be! Just as well, I think it’s as good a time as any to share it here – after all, this actually was what came to my rescue for dinner tonight, since I ran out of my stock of dried kidney beans.

Red Kidney Bean Curry from Canned Beans

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Meena,


  • 2 tbsp light cooking oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 large can (540 ml) red kidney beans drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • water as needed
  • salt to taste
  • a handful of finely chopped cilantro leaves for garnish


  • Add oil to a deep heavy bottomed pan. Once the oil is warm, add in the cinnamon stick and cumin seeds. As soon as the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add in the chopped onion and fry for 2-3 minutes till lightly browned.
  • Add ginger, garlic and spices, and fry for a few seconds till fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and combine well with the onion and spices.
  • Add in chopped tomatoes and let it cook covered for a few minutes till the tomatoes start to pulp and blend with the spice mixture. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from getting burnt.
  • Stir in kidney beans, season with salt and add about 1 cup of water (depending on the thickness of gravy you prefer). Lower the heat, and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve warm.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you will surely love my Instant Chana Masala, Chana Aloo and Instant Pot Rajma recipe as well.

Tried this recipe? Leave a Comment and let me know, also Rate it by clicking the number of stars on the recipe card. Want to share your version with me? Tag me on Instagram @hookedonheat

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