Tamarind Borlotti Bean Curry

Tamarind Borlotti Bean Curry

If you want something different from your usual curry recipe, why not try this tamarind borlotti bean curry? The hint of sweetness and tartness will give your taste buds a lovely, yummy surprise. 

Tamarind is not a typical ingredient in Western cuisines; you’ll usually find it in Asian (or African) dishes. If you don’t know what tamarind is, don’t worry, you’re about to.

The tamarind fruit is native to many tropical countries including India, Nigeria, Uganda and Sudan. In parts of India, it is known as Tetuli or Nuli, and in Nigeria, it is known as Pepper fruit, but each tribe in the country has a different name for it.

Tamarind fruit is a velvety, rusty-brown pod that appears straight or curvy. The pod is brittle, and a sticky, edible pulp covers its seeds. Tamarind seeds are hard, shiny and smooth with an irregular shape.


Nutritional and medicinal value of Tamarind

Tamarind has many medicinal properties. It is used as a laxative in Madagascar and Nigeria to help alleviate constipation and stomach aches in children and adults. Its leaves and bark are used to treat cuts, wounds and abscesses. When mixed with lemon, tamarind pulp is used to treat diarrhoea. Its root is also useful for treating dysentery.

Tamarind fruit is a rich source of macro- and micronutrients. It is particularly rich in protein, with many essential amino acids. It is a good source of complex carbohydrates and minerals including potassium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc and magnesium. It also provides small amounts of iron and vitamin A.

The pulp is sweet and tart. It works very well in curries, sauces and chutneys. In some countries, people use it in ice cream, sherbet and juices. You can buy tamarind paste (which is what I use in my recipes) in most grocery stores in the UK.

Borlotti beans

Borlotti (also known as Cranberry, Roman or Rosecoco) beans are my favourite beans ever! They are a sizeable pink bean with red streaks. They have a very creamy texture that makes them very moreish. I love adding them to curries and stews. They are delicious on their own or with potatoes, rice and most grains as a side. They also make a delicious filling for tacos or tortillas, and I’m pretty sure they’ll be fantastic on toast.


As with other beans, Borlotti is a rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium, protein, and fibre.

I usually buy canned, cooked versions of them because I rarely find the raw bean at Tesco, where I typically shop. I would highly recommend them if you’ve never tried it. If you can’t find borlotti beans, you can always use any other legume. Chickpeas, butter beans, pinto beans and kidney beans make great substitutions.


Tamarind Borlotti Bean Curry

  • Author: somiigbene
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 1x


If you want something different from your usual curry recipe, why not try this tamarind borlotti bean curry? The hint of sweetness and tartness will give your taste buds a lovely, yummy surprise.



  • 400g tin borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp Madras curry powder
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • Steamed vegetables, to serve
  • Boiled brown rice, to serve


  • Heat a small splash of water in a non-stick saucepan. Add the shallots and garlic and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until soft. Stir in the tomato puree, chilli, ground coriander, curry powder, vegetable stock cube and around 200ml of water. Bring to the boil then cook on a simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the tamarind and half of the coriander leaves, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve with rice and vegetables and sprinkle with the remaining coriander.


Add a pinch of sugar if you find it too tart.

  • Category: Lunch/Dinner

Keywords: Borlotti beans, curry, rice




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