Fragrant bean and sweet potato curry with curry leaves
Curries don’t come much healthier than this one. Butter beans contains virtually no fat, and they’re rich in protein, fibre, magnesium and folate. Their creamy texture and mild taste are perfect for absorbing all the delicious flavours of the spices.
250 g (9 oz/1½ cups) dried butter beans, soaked in cold water overnight and drained (see tips)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
12 fresh curry leaves
2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
2 onions, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3cm (1¼ in) piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 long green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) salt-reduced vegetable stock
300 g (10½ oz) sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm (¾ in) chunks
75 g (2¾ oz/1½ cups) baby English spinach leaves
1. Place the beans in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 45 minutes–1 hour or until just tender. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the curry leaves and mustard seeds and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin and chillies and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
3. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2–3 minutes or until thick. Add the beans, stock and 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add the sweet potato, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes or until sweet potato is tender. Stir in spinach leaves and serve.
Gluten-free (see tips)
For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free vegetable stock. You can replace the dried butter beans with 2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins butter beans, drained and rinsed. Omit step 1 and add the beans in step 3.
The curry is suitable to freeze without the spinach. Place in airtight containers, cool completely, cover and freeze.