There are a lot of great recipes to make with large lima beans and this simple Indian lima bean curry recipe with cashews and spices is at the top of the list. Delicious lima beans are simmered in aromatic spices with onions and tomatoes and cooked over low heat. Indian lima bean curry cooks low and slow over 3 hours while the flavors marry.
For this dish, we are using large dry lima beans (or butter beans). Lima beans are used a lot in Indian cooking. Frozen green lima beans or baby lima beans can also be used in this simple curry but the cooking times will need to be adjusted.
What are Lima Beans
Lima beans are a type of legume that is native to the Americas. They are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Lima beans can be eaten fresh, dried, or canned. They can be used in a variety of dishes, such as soups, stews, and salads.
There are two main types of lima beans:
Smaller green lima beans known as green baby limas are more tender and cook faster than their larger counterpart. They are less starchy and slightly earthy.
Large lima beans are also known as butter beans, Madagascar beans, curry beans, double beans, and giant Peruvian lima beans. They are super nutritious and a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, iron, and folate.
Both types come from the same type of plant.
Here are some additional facts about lima beans:
- Lima beans are a member of the pea family.
- They are a good source of folate, which is important for pregnant women.
- Lima beans can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiling, baking, and frying.
- They are a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine.
- Lima beans can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- They can also be frozen for up to 6 months.
Where Can You Find Lima Beans
Lima beans can be found at most grocery stores in the legume aisle. They are also available online and at some farmers markets.
Here are some additional tips on where to find lima beans:
- Look for lima beans in the legume aisle of your grocery store.
- If you can’t find lima beans at your local grocery store, you can order them online or at some farmer’s markets.
- Lima beans are a seasonal crop, so they may be more difficult to find during the winter months.
- When choosing lima beans, look for beans that are plump and have smooth, shiny skin.
- Avoid beans that are shriveled, discolored, or have any signs of mold.
- Lima beans can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Where Are Lima Beans Cultivated
Lima beans are cultivated in many parts of the world, including the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. However, they are native to the Americas.
The top producer of lima beans is China, followed by India, the United States, and Brazil.
Lima beans grow on vines that can reach up to 10 feet long. The beans are green or white, and they are about the size of a pea. Lima beans are a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins A and C. They can be eaten fresh, dried, or canned. To grow lima beans, you will need to plant the seeds in the spring after the last frost. The seeds should be planted about 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart. The beans will germinate in about 7 to 10 days. Lima beans need full sun and well-drained soil. They should be watered regularly, especially during dry periods. The beans will be ready to harvest in about 80 to 90 days.
How to Soak Lima Beans And Cashews
Dry lima beans (or dry butter beans)should be soaked overnight or at least 6-8 hours. The trade-off for this is that they are shelf-stable in your pantry for a long time and take up very little room. They also contain far less sodium (salt) than canned lima or butter beans. If you are on a low-sodium diet, dry beans and peas are an excellent choice. Try this low-sodium hummus recipe that I make with dried and soaked chickpeas.
Put the dried beans in a colander, rinse (remove any foreign debris), and transfer them to a large bowl. Cover with plenty of water as the lima beans will double in size (enough water to cover. Use too little water and they won’t soften as desired.
For the cashews, if they are very salty, rinse them well and then cover them with water. You will see them plump up over time and become much softer. If you want to make a healthy and nutritious dip, blend the cashews with white beans (soaked or canned beans) and tahini. Or blend and make a dressing. Cashews are quite a versatile food.
Indian Spices For Lima Bean Curry
There are a lot of spices that can be used in this dish including curry powder, I chose to make my own “curry” spice mixture for this recipe. Here are some other suggestions:
- curry powder
- curry leaves
- coriander leaves
- garam masala
- red pepper flakes
- whole cardamom pods
- cumin seeds
- mustard seeds
- fennel seeds
- garlic powder
- green chili
- freshly ground coriander seeds
- poppy seeds
- cinnamon stick
Ingredients For Simple Indian Lima Bean Curry With Cashews And Spices
1. 1 1/2 cups dried large lima beans (soaked overnight)
2. 1 cup of cashews (rinsed and soaked overnight)
3. 1 medium yellow onion, diced (1/2 cup)
4. 1 1/4 cup diced/ chopped tomatoes
5. 1 tsp of fresh ginger (or ginger paste)
6. 4 cups of water, divided
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Instructions On How To Make Simple Indian Lima Bean Curry With Cashews And Spices
1. Soak the lima beans in a large bowl overnight. At the same time rinse and soak the cashews. Be sure to cover them with plenty of water.
2. In a large cast iron skillet melt the butter and add in the spices. Stir them around for 1 minute – toasting all the flavors and creating a delicious base.
3. Add in the minced fresh ginger and stir for 1 minute more. Add in the onions and saute them for 2-3 minutes.
4. Next add the cashews and stir them around for 1-2 minutes. They will toast up nicely in a couple of minutes.
5. Add the chopped tomatoes, 2 cups of water, and the lima beans. Stir well, cover, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
6. Turn the heat to medium-low heat and simmer the lima bean mixture for about 3 hours or until the beans are tender. Use the remaining 2 cups of water to add to the dish during this time based on if it needs more liquid.
7. Serve hot with naan or your favorite sides. Taste and add a little salt or fresh lemon juice if needed.
-The longer you soak the beans the better, it will reduce cooking time.
-Olive oil or canola oil can be used instead of butter.
– After you add the cashews and tomatoes, you can use an immersion blender to make a smooth paste. I like it a little chunky but either way is delicious.
-If you like garlic – make a ginger garlic paste by mincing fresh ginger and garlic cloves.
-Tomato sauce can be substituted for diced tomatoes.
-Add in a splash of coconut milk to make it more decadent.
-Over the cooking period you may have to add additional water, this is just to keep the beans cooking. Add one cup of water at a time, stir, and keep it covered.
-Another way to reduce the cooking time is to pre-cook the beans in an instant pot. It takes about 4 minutes and then a natural release.
How To Serve Simple Indian Lima Bean Curry With Cashews And Spices
Indian lima bean curry makes an excellent main dish – it is packed with proteins! Traditionally it is served over rice (jasmine or basmati rice work great) with a side of naan or Indian flatbread. However it is delicious any way you do it.
Here are some suggestions:
- Pearl Couscous
- Cucumber slices
- Fresh tomato slices
- Pita Bread
- No knead dinner rolls
- Pita Chips
- On flour tortillas
- Hard boiled eggs
- Muffins or banana bread
- As a dip with crackers
- Over spaghetti
- With chicken breasts
- It’s even good cold!
How To Store And Reheat Indian Lima Bean Curry With Cashews And Spices
To store simple Indian lima bean curry with cashews and spices use an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and in the freezer for 6 months. It freezes perfectly for later use.
Reheating this dish is super easy – use whatever cooking method works for you.
1. Stove top – Place the desired amount in a saucepan and heat on low until it becomes hot. Add a splash of water if it needs to be thinned out and stir frequently.
2. Oven – Put the lima beans curry into an oven-safe dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Heat at 325 degrees until hot – about 20 minutes.
3. Microwave – Place the desired amount in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with these amazing silicone lids (or a paper towel). Heat at 80% power for 1-2 minutes.
Wrapping Up Simple Indian Lima Bean Curry With Cashews And Spices
Try this delicious curry to spice up your dinner rotation. Indian food is fun, full of flavor, and bursting with dietary fiber. The 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne adds just a little bit of heat. My 7-year-old loved it!
Simple Indian lima bean curry is a delicious and satisfying meal and the best part is that it is so good for you. Lima beans are a great addition to a heart-healthy diet.
Recipe Card For Simple Indian Lima Bean Curry With Cashews And Spices
Simple Indian Lima Bean Curry With Cashews And Spices
- 1 1/2 cups Dried lima beans soaked 8hrs-overnight
- 1 cup Cashews soaked 8hrs-overnight
- 1 cup Onion, diced medium onion
- 1 1/4 cups Tomatoes, diced
- 1 tsp Ginger, freshly grated or ginger paste
- 4 cups Water divided
- Soak the lima beans in a large bowl overnight. At the same time rinse and soak the cashews. Be sure to cover them with plenty of water.
- In a large cast iron skillet melt the butter and add in the spices. Stir them around for 1 minute – toasting all the flavors and creating a delicious base.
- Add in the minced fresh ginger and stir for 1 minute more. Add in the onions and saute them for 2-3 minutes.
- Next add the cashews and stir them around for 1-2 minutes. They will toast up nicely in a couple of minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, 2 cups of water, and the lima beans. Stir well, cover, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Turn the heat to medium-low heat and simmer the lima bean mixture for about 3 hours or until the beans are tender. Use the remaining 2 cups of water to add to the dish during this time based on if it needs more liquid.
- Serve hot with naan or your favorite sides. Taste and add a little salt or fresh lemon juice if needed.