Recipe Index

Coconut bean curry (lobia)

Serve 4


A speedier version of those thick bean Punjabi preparations that add a study richness when enjoying an assortment of single vegetable curries. Often they’re prepared with whole milk yogurt, but coconut milk adds equal soothing richness. Lobia refers to using black eye peas, but any bean or a combination could used; try using a can of black eye peas and a can of red kidney beans. Adjust the thickness of the lobia as you desire, either making it a thicker texture for scooping up with naan or a looser stew to pour on top of basmati rice.


For best results use high quality organic canned beans. Good quality organic canned beans don’t need to be rinsed for this dish, just use them straight out of the can. If you must use regular supermarket grade canned beans, rinse and drain them first.


  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 one inch cube ginger, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Two 14 ounce cans (4 cups) cooked black eye peas or red kidney beans, or a combination, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup coconut milk, regular or reduced fat
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro


1. In a food processor pulse together the onion, ginger, garlic, garam masala, cayenne pepper, cardamom, and salt to form a smooth paste. Heat the oil in a wok or stainless steel skillet over medium heat until it ripples, then stir fry the the onion mixture for 2 minutes. Add the beans, water, bay leaves, and coconut milk and increase heat to high, stirring occasionally.


2. Bring mixture to an active simmer for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If a thicker consistency is desired continue to simmer the beans. When the desired consistency is reaches, turn off heat. Remove bay leaves and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Let beans stand for 10 minutes before serving with rice or naan.