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Pinto Bean Thoran

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If you’re looking for a nice vegetarian curry recipe, check this out!

Bean Curry


What a nice flavour this curry has! It’s easy and cheap to make and above all, it’s filling. I often make it for lunch for my wife and me or serve it as a side dish at one of our many curry feasts.

Vegetable thorans are very popular in southern India. They are dry curries often served at special occasions. You can use any sturdy vegetable that will keep its shape when cooked such as green beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and pinto beans like I’ve used in the recipe.

In other words don’t use vegetable like spinach that will wilt.

If you are looking for a vegetarian curry recipe that is certain to go down well, this will be it. Simply use the vegetables you and/or your guests love and you’re off.


Yield: 4

Pinto Bean Thoran - A Vegetarian Curry Recipe That Tastes Great and Can Be Made in a Hurry

Pinto Bean Thoran - A Vegetarian Curry Recipe That Tastes Great and Can Be Made in a Hurry


  • 250g dried beans of your choice (You can use about 500g tinned beans but rince them first)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • About 15 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 small onion - finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (optional)
  • 1 red chilli pepper - finely chopped
  • 3 heaping tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • 1 pinch turmeric
  • 1 small bunch chopped coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Soak the beans overnight if using dried beans and then cook them until tender - 30 to 40 minutes will usually suffice.
  2. Heat about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat and throw in your black mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  3. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the chopped onions, garlic (if using) and chilli pepper.
  4. Mix in the beans and the turmeric. Again, stir to combine.
  5. Add the coconut and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Top with the chopped coriander and a squeeze of lime juice.

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Susan Dalgado

Saturday 26th of June 2021

Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will definitely try it today. Cheers!Susan

Dan Toombs

Monday 28th of June 2021

Thanks very much, I hope you enjoyed it. Dan


Monday 30th of January 2012

Sounds like a great recipe, but you don't actually say when to add the beans.

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 31st of January 2012

Thanks you for noticing that Barbara. Problem fixed. :)



Friday 20th of January 2012

Made this a couple of times really nice and yes it is dry, the first time i made was with a couple of other dry dishes, (easy chicken and broccoli curry) so I added a cup of curry gravy that I had made before

The 2nd time made it as per recipe both good


Dan Toombs

Saturday 21st of January 2012

Hi Mike. Thanks for that. I'm really glad you. Thanks.

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