Oil-Free Black Bean and Red Kidney Bean Curry

Oil-Free Black Bean and Red Kidney Bean Curry

Think oil-free vegan recipes are bland? Let me change your mind with my simple oil-free black bean and red kidney bean curry.

My curries used to have a more intense flavour when I cooked with oil. I know that’s because I used to fry my spices during the cooking process.

Unfortunately, water ‘frying’ does not produce the same flavour intensity. I’m not saying the recipes don’t taste good; I’m just saying they don’t taste as good as I know they can.

I’ve been trying to come up with ways to achieve a similar flavour, and it only just occurred to me that I could try toasting my spices before incorporating them into the recipe. Such an obvious solution, right? I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner.

You need to be careful when toasting the spices. You don’t want to overdo it, so they burn, and at the same time, you don’t want to under toast them or else you won’t notice a flavour difference.

I heat a dry, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Then I measure out the amount of each spice I intend to use and put it in the pan. I move the spices around with a wooden spoon until they started to darken in colour and become fragrant. I take the pan off the heat, immediately tip the spices into a bowl and set them aside until I’m ready to use them.

It is that simple!

You will find that your curries have a deeper flavour. I will admit that it is still not as intense as frying them, but it is way better than water frying.


You may have noticed that I am not consistent with adding serving sizes to my recipes. It’s honestly because I think serving sizes are personal. If I go by the suggested servings on the packaging of whole foods, I would be hungry all day. Three tablespoons of beans (the suggested serving size) on a can of beans, is not enough food for my activity levels. I need to eat at least three servings to feel satisfied. And that’s usually alongside a grain and vegetables.

You may or may not need the same amount of food as me. You may need more, or you may need less. I would suggest cooking my recipes as they are. If it is too much, lucky you, you can save the rest for another meal. If it is too little, increase the number of ingredients to suit your needs for next time.


Oil-Free Black Bean and Red Kidney Bean Curry

  • Author: somiigbene
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2-4 1x


Think oil-free vegan recipes are bland? Let me change your mind with my simple oil-free black bean and red kidney bean curry.



  • 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 400g tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • ½ inch ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp Madras curry powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  • Large handful coriander stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves, to serve
  • Cooked brown rice, to serve
  • Steamed courgettes, to serve
  • Red kraut, to serve
  • ½ small avocado, to serve


  1. Heat a medium-sized non-stick and dry saucepan over medium heat. Once warm, add the garam masala, curry powder and ground coriander. Move them around with a wooden spoon for around 2-3 minutes until they darken in colour and become very fragrant, taking care not to burn them. Take them off the heat and transfer to a small bowl.
  2. Add a small splash of water to the same saucepan then add the garlic and shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the toasted spices, tomato puree, chilli powder, green chillis, ginger, coriander stalks, and vegetable stock cube. Stir well, then add around 250ml of water to the pan. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  3. Add the beans to the pan, stir well and cook, still on a simmer for a further 6-8 minutes until the beans are warm. Loosen with water or vegetable broth if the sauce gets too thick.
  4. Once cooked serve over brown rice and alongside courgettes, red kraut and the avocado. Sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander and enjoy.

  • Category: Lunch/Dinner

Keywords: Curry, Kidney Bean, Black beans




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