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Keralan runner bean curry

A great way to use the glut of runner beans, from a Meera Sodha recipe in Guardian Feast, August 2018. Don't be shy with the spices!

Serves 4

Vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, gluten free


1 onion, peeled & chopped
2 green chillies
1 inch ginger, peeled & chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
oil for frying
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp coriander seeds, ground in a mortar
400ml coconut milk
50g desiccated coconut
400g potatoes, chopped
400g runner beans, destringed & diced
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 handful curry leaves
1 lemon

handful fresh coriander, to serve
rice, to serve


  1. Put the onion, chilli, ginger and garlic in a blender with 2 tbsp water and blitz to a paste.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan, and when it's hot add the onion mixture and cook for 10 mins on a medium heat. Add water if it sticks.
  3. Add the turmeric, cumin and coriander and cook for 2 mins.
  4. Add the coconut milk, desiccated coconut, and potatoes. Fill the coconut milk tin with water and add this too. Add a generous pinch of salt and simmer for 15-20 mins, until the potatoes are cooked.
  5. Add the runner beans and cook for 6 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a small frying pan, and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and a good grind of black pepper. When the leaves are cooked and the mustard seeds begin to pop, remove from the heat and drain on kitchen paper.
  7. Once the runner beans are cooked, add salt and lemon juice to taste.
  8. Serve with rice and topped with fresh coriander and the fried leaves and seeds. I'm sure a bit of lime pickle would also be great, if you like it.

This recipe tastes even better made with vegetables from Community Harvest Whetstone :)
Keralan runner bean curry in a bowl