The Best Vegan Black Bean Curry Recipe

Can You Include Black Beans in Curry? Absolutely!

Indulge in the ultimate black bean curry recipe that is bursting with flavor and is naturally vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Black beans, also known as black turtle beans or karuppu kaaramani in India, are a readily available and high-protein vegan food that you can enjoy on a daily basis. Treat yourself to the exquisite taste of curried black beans, reminiscent of a meal you would find in an Indian restaurant.

My Journey with Vegan Curry Recipes

Vegan curry recipes have played a significant role in my life, and I have experimented with various versions of curry beans. In the early days, I used chana or chickpeas in this recipe, and I have even made a tomato-based curry sauce with aubergine (also known as eggplant).

Endless Possibilities for Black Bean Vegetable Curry

Sometimes, I like to add a touch of creaminess to my black bean vegetable curry by incorporating a little coconut cream or coconut milk. And if I’m in the mood for something sweet, I’ll add some chopped mango or cooked sweet potato.

No Canned Black Beans? No Problem!

Don’t worry if you only have dried black beans on hand. You can still enjoy this recipe by soaking and cooking the beans. To substitute canned black beans, measure out 1¾ cups of cooked black beans for each can required in the recipe.

Let Your Imagination Run Wild

Feel free to experiment and take this recipe in a different direction by transforming it into a delectable black bean curry soup. Add some mushrooms, spinach, or any other plant-based foods that capture your fancy. The possibilities for creating unique flavors and dishes with this easy curry base are truly endless.

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Black Bean Curry Benefits

Why should you make this vegan black bean curry? For me, it all comes down to flavor, drawing inspiration from some of my favorite South Indian recipes. Here are a few more reasons why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Fast: You can whip up this homemade vegan curry in under an hour, thanks to the convenience of using canned beans.
  • Spicy or Mild: Adjust the heat level of your black bean curry to suit your preference. Add a bit of cayenne for some kick or omit it for a milder taste.
  • Inexpensive: Packed with affordable pantry ingredients and spices, this recipe proves that vegetarian curry can be a budget-friendly dish.
  • Vegan: This bean curry is not only vegan but also gluten-free, allowing both vegetarians and individuals with dietary restrictions to enjoy its deliciousness.
  • Protein Powerhouse: Loaded with legumes, this recipe provides an excellent source of whole-food plant-based protein. When paired with rice, it forms a complete protein.
  • Delicious: Prepare to be amazed by how effortlessly you can replicate the incredible flavors of Indian takeout at home. This recipe is perfect for family dinners and impressive enough to serve to guests.

Ingredients for Black Bean Curry

To make this curry with canned black beans, gather the following ingredients:

  • Canned black beans
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Vegan butter
  • Olive oil
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Garlic cloves
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Allspice
  • Ginger powder
  • Methi
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Large green pepper

For specific quantities, refer to the recipe card at the end of this article.

Cooking Instructions

For the best cooking experience, I recommend practicing mise en place, which involves prepping all the ingredients before you begin cooking.

  1. Drain the black beans and slice the onions into thin half-moons. Remove the seeds from the green pepper and dice it into ½-inch pieces (1.27 cm). Mince the garlic cloves.
  2. Heat the vegan butter and olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat on the stovetop. Sauté the onions for 10-15 minutes until they become soft and translucent, avoiding excessive browning.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, garlic, turmeric, cumin, allspice, methi, ginger, and cayenne to the pot. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Incorporate the drained black beans and chopped green pepper into the pot. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt if necessary (although canned beans are usually adequately seasoned).
  5. To enhance the flavors, add ½ cup of water to the pot, cover it, and let it simmer for 15-30 minutes over medium-low heat. If you’re short on time and the peppers have already softened, you can skip this step.
  6. Serve the curry over rice or alongside your favorite grain. Consider garnishing with a sprinkle of parsley for an added touch.
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Storage Tips for Black Bean Curry

Leftover black bean curry can be refrigerated for 3-4 days. Ensure that it is properly covered with plastic wrap or stored in a lidded container to prevent it from drying out. Reheat the vegan bean curry in the microwave or on the stovetop.

You can also freeze this black bean curry recipe. Just make sure to allow it to thaw in the refrigerator for 48 hours before reheating.

What to Serve with Black Bean Curry

While basmati rice is my personal favorite side dish for black bean curry, there are other fantastic options to consider:

  • Quinoa
  • Plain Costco cauliflower rice
  • Fresh garden salad
  • Plain yogurt (try making Instant Pot almond milk yogurt)
  • Roti
  • Chapati
  • Naan

Nutritional Information

Each serving of this Indian black bean curry contains approximately 417 calories, 32.8 grams of net carbs, and 15.3 grams of protein. Please note that these nutritional values do not include side dishes such as rice or naan bread.

Expert Tips from a Dietitian

This recipe falls into the level 2 category, suitable for weight maintenance and active lifestyles. When served with rice or flatbread, black bean curry provides a satisfying and moderate-calorie meal.

If you’re looking to incorporate more inexpensive canned beans into your diet, this curry recipe is an excellent choice. However, be mindful that the combination of spices, tomatoes, and onions may exacerbate heartburn in some individuals.


Are black turtle beans good for you? Black turtle beans are a healthy choice as they offer a whole food source of nutrition. They are rich in fiber and serve as an excellent plant-based protein source. Unless you’re following a low-carb diet or have specific dietary restrictions, including black beans in your meals can provide numerous health benefits.

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Will black beans make you gain weight? It’s important to note that weight gain results from a consistent excess intake of calories over time and not from consuming specific foods. Many people have successfully lost weight without excluding black beans from their diets. Conversely, others following low-carb or keto diets have also achieved weight loss without including black beans.

That being said, it is worth mentioning that black beans and other legumes are lean proteins but relatively high in carbs. Animal-based lean proteins often provide more protein per calorie than legumes due to their lower carb content. Therefore, if you find protein particularly satiating, you may need to consume more calories from beans to feel full compared to animal-based lean proteins. However, the filling fiber content of beans can help counterbalance this difference, although some individuals may find it insufficient.

What is the healthiest bean? Ideally, incorporating a variety of healthy beans into your diet is recommended. However, if I had to choose one, I would opt for soybeans, including black soybeans. Unlike many other beans, soybeans are low in carbs and provide complete protein. Their neutral flavor makes them a versatile addition to a wide range of dishes.

More Recipes Using Canned Black Beans

Looking for more easy recipes using canned black beans? After trying out this vegan bean curry, why not explore these delicious options:

  • Roasted Black Beans Snack
  • Air Fryer Soup
  • Vegan Burrito Bowl

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The Disclaimer

Please note that all recipes on this website may or may not be suitable for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. If you require assistance in determining the optimal dietary pattern for your situation, consult with a registered dietitian or your physician.

The nutrition information provided is estimative and offered as a courtesy. Actual nutritional values may vary based on specific brands and ingredients used. Keep in mind that the calorie information on food labels can often be inaccurate, so don’t get too caught up in the numbers.

For more information on how the three recipe levels can aid in reaching your weight management goals, refer to my post on overnight oats without sugar. Now let’s get cooking!

Recipe Card