This Kidney Bean Curry (Jamaican-Style) is unlike any you have ever tried. The coconut sauce, herbs, and spices are perfectly balanced and they taste great with Brown Rice.

You can also serve them with Gluten-Free Flatbread or Turmeric Coconut Rice

Straight on kidney bean curry Jamaican style with white rice tomato slices in a blue bowl with a fork on a blue and brown concrete background garnished with thyme

This is another versatile way to enjoy kidney beans. Growing up in Jamaica, we called kidney beans peas, therefore, it took me a while to get used to saying beans instead.

Kidney beans are a good source of protein, a soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol stabilizes blood sugar, and helps with weight loss.

This dish is similar to rajma masala curry except, I added some Jamaican flavors like my Scotch Bonnet pepper, thyme, and coconut milk.

Why You’ll Love This Kidney Bean Curry Recipe

  • Explosion of Jamaican Flavors: Experience the delightful fusion of rich, spicy, and savory Jamaican tastes that make this curry truly unique.
  • Plant-Powered Protein: Loaded with kidney beans, this dish is a protein-packed, vegan powerhouse that satisfies your hunger and nutritional needs.
  • Dietary Flexibility: Whether you’re vegan, gluten-free, or just love great food, this curry welcomes everyone to the table.
  • Versatility and Pairings: Serve it with brown rice, flatbread, or turmeric coconut rice for a diverse culinary experience.
  • Comfort with a Twist: Embrace the heartwarming comfort of a creamy coconut sauce combined with aromatic herbs and spices, making each bite a true pleasure.

Ingredients Needed

  • Red Kidney Beans: The star of the show, providing plant-based protein and a hearty texture.
  • Coconut oil or Water: This will keep the texture smooth and creamy without additional unhealthy oils.
  • Aromatics: Onion, garlic, ginger, and green onions, infusing the curried beans with layers of savory flavor.
  • Tomatoes: Adding a subtle tanginess and a hint of sweetness to the dish.
  • Spices like Coriander, Cumin, Turmeric, and Fresh Thyme create a harmonious blend of Jamaican flavors and aroma.
  • Coconut Milk: Offering creaminess and richness to the red kidney bean curry, balancing the spices.
  • Scotch Bonnet Pepper (or Cayenne Pepper): Providing the dish with its characteristic heat and a spicy kick.
  • Salt: Enhancing the overall seasoning and taste.
Ingredients for kidney bean curry on a wooden board on blue background

How To Make To Make Red Kidney Bean Curry

  1. Sort and rinse dried beans well, put them in a large bowl or pot. Add enough water to cover (about 3 cups) and soak beans overnight or for around 8 hours.
  2. Drain beans using a colander. Place beans and water to cover (about 6 cups) in a large pot to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour, or until beans are tender.
  3. Drain beans and reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid, set aside. Heat a large saucepan with oil on medium-high heat.
  4. Add onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes Add garlic and ginger, cook for 30 seconds. Add green onions, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, turmeric, thyme, and pepper stirring for 2 minutes. 
  5. Add coconut milk, water, or the reserved liquid, and cook for about 15 minutes or until sauce thickens. 
  6. Add salt to taste. 

Expert Tips

  • It is important to make sure your kidney beans are thoroughly cooked. Red kidney beans contain hemagglutinins, an antibody that causes red blood cells to clump together. When undercooked red kidney beans are eaten in large amounts, the hemagglutinins may trigger abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea. Cooking red kidney beans thoroughly inactivates this unwanted reaction.
  • Adjust the amount of Scotch Bonnet pepper or cayenne pepper to control the spiciness to your preference. Start with a smaller amount and add more if needed, as it’s easier to make the red bean curry spicier than to reduce the heat once it’s too hot.
  • Be cautious when handling Scotch Bonnet peppers, as they are very hot. You may want to use gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after touching them to avoid getting the pepper’s oils on your skin.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Spinach and Kidney Bean Curry: Add a generous handful of fresh spinach leaves to the red bean curry. They will wilt and add a vibrant green color and extra nutrition.
  • Chickpea and Kidney Bean Curry: Mix kidney beans with chickpeas for a heartier texture. This combination creates a protein-packed curry.
  • Coconut Rice: Instead of serving the curry beans with plain rice, prepare coconut rice. Cook the rice with coconut milk for a rich, creamy side dish that complements the curry’s flavors.

Storage Tips

Refrigeration: To store leftover curry, let it cool to room temperature. Transfer it to an airtight container, and refrigerate it within 2 hours of cooking. Properly stored, it will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing: If you’ve made a large batch and want to freeze some portions, place the cooled curry in a freezer-safe container or a resealable freezer bag. Label it with the date, and it can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheating: When reheating, gently warm the curry beans on the stovetop or in the microwave. If it has thickened too much in the refrigerator or freezer, you can add a little water or coconut milk to reach your desired consistency.

What To Serve With Kidney Bean Curry

Serve the curry over a bed of fluffy jasmine rice, basmati rice, or brown rice for a satisfying and hearty meal. You could also serve it over quinoa, or cauliflower rice.

You may also want to prepare a sweet and tangy fruit chutney with ingredients like mango, pineapple, or papaya. It adds a delightful burst of flavor to each bite.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use canned kidney beans in my kidney bean curry?

Yes, you can use canned kidney beans to save time. Simply rinse and drain them before adding to the curry. Skip the steps related to soaking and boiling dried beans.

Is Jamaican Kidney Bean Curry very spicy?

The spiciness of the dish can be adjusted to your preference. If you enjoy a mild curry, use less or no Scotch Bonnet pepper. For extra heat, include the whole pepper or increase the amount of cayenne.

Can I make this curry in advance and reheat it?

Yes, you can make these curried beans in advance. It often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave.

What is Scotch Bonnet pepper?

Scotch Bonnet pepper is a spicy chili pepper commonly used in Caribbean cuisine. If you can’t find it, you can use a milder pepper like habanero or adjust the spice level by using cayenne pepper to taste.

Other Amazing Vegan Curry Recipes To Try

close up kidney bean curry Jamaican style with white rice tomato slices in a blue bowl with a fork on a blue and brown concrete background garnished with thyme

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Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 211 kcal / 882 kJ
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Carbs: 34 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 20 min
  • Cooking: 1 h 5 min
  • Ready in: 1 h 25 min
  • For: 4 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. If you are using dried kidney beans, sort and rinse dried beans well, put them in a large bowl or pot. Add enough water to cover (about 3 cups) and soak beans overnight or for around 8 hours.
  2. Rinse and drain beans, place beans and water to cover (about 6 cups) in a large pot to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour, or until beans are tender.
  3. Drain beans and reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid, set aside. Heat a large saucepan with oil on medium-high heat.
  4. Add onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes Add garlic and ginger, cook for 30 seconds. Add green onions, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and thyme, stirring for 2 minutes.
  5. Add beans, coconut milk, water or reserved liquid, Scotch Bonnet pepper, and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
  6. Add salt to taste.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.