Simmer tender kidney, navy and black beans with spinach, curry spices and coconut milk for this creamy three-bean curry. An easy dinner for Meatless Monday!
Curries are naturally gluten-free since they rarely need a thickener (that would make you think to add flour), and are often served over rice, a gluten-free grain. Because of that, they are easy meals for me to make for my gluten-free eaters.
Are bean dishes paleo?
More about this in an upcoming article – stay tuned – but simplest to say that beans are not recommended on a Paleo diet. However, I have lots of bean recipes because my daughter-in-law, who eats mostly Paleo, includes beans in her diet.
Why add meatless meals to the diet?
After reading of the challenges over the coronavirus facing workers in meat-packing plants, and hearing that meats could be in short supply, we thought it was a good time to eat more meatless meals. You can already find a number of “2-ways” meals on this blog that have a non-meat option.
I have had substantial periods in my life when I didn’t eat meat, either by preference or finances. Look forward to more meatless meal recipes per week on the blog.
Is coconut milk essential to this curry?
According to one Indian blogger, not all Indian cuisines include coconut milk. We love the creaminess without using dairy, but you could reduce the amount or use more broth. As with my turmeric rice, I use the less-creamy “bottom” part of canned coconut milk for this recipe and save the creamy top layer for something else.
Choosing beans for your curry.
You can use nearly any bean when making curry, and you don’t need three; one will do, though the more types, the more interesting it is. If you are following the GAPS diet, for example, only navy beans are on your list. I cook my beans in advance and then add them to the curry, so I don’t have to worry about larger beans cooking more slowly than smaller ones.
The beans you choose can affect the overall look of the curry. The black beans, for example, will tend to turn everything else in the curry a dark brown to black as in my enchilada soup. Just be sure you rinse the beans well before and during soaking and cooking so that each bean keeps its own color.
Lentils are fantastic in a curry but I usually use them on their own and not with the larger legumes. Here is an excellent lentil curry that I encourage you to try!
In an article that I will be publishing soon, I’ll review ideas about cooking your own beans, soaking, etc. I prefer to cook my own for economy and control over the texture, but sometimes used canned too.
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If you have a chance to make this tasty and easy recipe, please leave me a comment so that I know how it went. And please share on social media!
Other bean recipes you may enjoy:
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Spinach and Coconut Three-Bean Curry
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 serrano pepper minced, optional
- 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans ½ black, ½ navy, ½ kidney, or three of your choice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ of a 14-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk the bottom, thinner part
- 1 can diced tomatoes fire-roasted add lots of flavor!
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- Pinch cayenne pepper or to taste (I use ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon depending on the spiciness of my curry powder)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5 ounces fresh or frozen spinach chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped, plus more for serving
- Cooked turmeric rice see note
- Coat a large pot with oil and place it over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and optional serrano pepper. Sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked beans and lemon juice. Stir to incorporate and cook for 2 minutes. Lightly mash about half of beans with a fork or potato masher. Add the tomatoes with their liquid, coconut milk, curry powder, garam masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric and optional cayenne. Bring the mixture to a simmer and lower the heat. Allow to simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, adding a bit of water if it becomes too thick.
- Stir in the spinach and cook until it takes up the flavors of the curry, about 10 minutes, as the curry thickens a little. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in most of the cilantro.
- Divide among bowls or plates. Serve with rice and sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
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