Lima Bean Curry (Vaal or Butter Bean Curry)

January certainly flew faster than expected! We had traveled to India for two weeks, during Uttarayan (Makar Sankranti aka Kite festival). We spent majority of our time in Ahmedabad, which is one of the largest cities in India and it is the first UNESCO world heritage city of the country. Ahmedabad is famous for its warm hospitality and friendly people. The street food in Ahmedabad makes it a gastronomic paradise. Our goal as a family was to fully enjoy the kite festival with family while expanding our palates to different dishes. We practically tried to try at least 2-3 unique dishes per day. It was quite fun since our family is so foodie and loves to experiment!

How many of you went on vacation last month ? How many actually managed to follow through on their New Year’s resolutions? Like many people, I have long list of failed New Year’s resolutions, however I have managed to follow through on one resolution that is getting in 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week. It has been perfect resolution for me, because it was adaptable, manageable with work schedule and much needed anyway. Since my ankle injury last year, I have learned that always adapt to baby goals which are sustainable and easily adaptable.  

As today is first day of February, it’s time for another bean curry recipe to continue my monthly series. I am hoping to inspire you all to start cooking different legumes and beans, because they are the richest plant source of protein available and especially abundant in the amino acid lysine, which is essential for bone health. Here is my take on Lima Bean Curry, which is quite different compared to traditional Gujarati Lima Bean Curry (Vaal nu shak). There is traditional Lima Bean Curry that uses dried beans and has unique sweet and sour tang to this dish. The dried Lima beans take long time to cook, hence mostly recommended to soak the beans in water overnight. Today I am using fresh baby Lima beans from the frozen section and giving it twist to the traditional recipe. This quick delicious spicy curry can be instantly made in instant pot or pressure cooker within 20 minutes and can be perfectly served with rice or roti.

Serves 2

[Per serving Calories 200 cal, Fat 10g, Carbs 20g, Fiber 10g, Protein 5g]


2 cups baby lima beans (found in freezer section in Walmart or any grocery stores)

1 cup onions, finely chopped

1 cup tomatoes, finely chopped  

1 tbsp EVOO

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 green chili, finely chopped

1 tbsp garlic paste

½ tbsp ginger paste

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

½ tsp garam masala

½ tsp asafoetida (hing)

1 cup of water in instant pot (1.5 cup of water in pressure cooker)

Salt to taste

1 tbsp of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped – for garnishing


Turn on instant pot to sauté mode. Once hot, add oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds. Let it temper. Add Asafoetida, green chilies, ginger-garlic paste, and cook for couple minutes. Add finely chopped onions and sauté for couple minutes. Once onions are translucent, add finely chopped tomatoes and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Stir thoroughly. Once the tomatoes and onions are cooked thoroughly, add all the masalas – red chili powder, cumin-coriander powder, garam masala and salt to taste. Mix well until all the ingredients are uniformed. Add 1 cup of water and frozen baby lima beans. Close the lid, turn the vent to seal. Turn on manual mode on instant pot on high heat and set the timer for 5 minutes. Let it cook and let the pressure release naturally. Once all the pressure is released naturally, open the instant pot and garnish the curry with fresh finely chopped coriander seeds. Serve hot with rice or roti.

If you are making this on stove top pressure cooker than follow the same steps of tempering and making the gravy. Make sure to add 1.5 cups prior closing the cooker. Let the pressure cooker whistle 3-4 times and let the pressure release naturally. Serve hot with Rice or roti.

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