Lima Beans Curry

Many people consider Lima Beans (also known as butter beans) boring, but here’s a way to make Lima Beans Curry that will spruce up this usually ignored vegetable.  When combined with whole grains such as rice, lima beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein and a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber.


Frozen Lima Beans – 16oz packet (washed)

Oil – 4 tsp

Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp

Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp

Asafoetida (Hing) – pinch

Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp

Onion – 1 small (chopped finely)

Green Chili – 1 (finely chopped – optional)

Ginger – 1 tsp (finely grated)

Garlic – 3 cloves (finely chopped)

Tomato Sauce  8oz can

Red Chili Powder – ¼ tsp (to taste)

Coriander Powder – 1 tsp

Garam Masala – 1 tsp

Cumin Powder – ½ tsp

Salt – 1 tsp (to taste)

Water – 1 cup

Cilantro Leaves – 5 sprigs (chopped for garnishing)



  1. Heat Oil in a pressure cooker or pressure pan on medium heat.
  2. Once Oil is hot, add Cumin Seeds and Mustard Seeds and allow them to sputter.
  3. Add Asafoetida and Turmeric Powder, then the Onions, Green Chili, Ginger and Garlic.
  4. Cook until Onions are light brown.
  5. Stir in Tomato Sauce and cook until oil starts to separate.
  6. Add Red Chili Powder, Coriander Powder, Garam Masala, Cumin Powder, and Salt. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Mix in Lima Beans and Water.
  8. Pressure cook for 1 whistle and turn off heat.
  9. Once pressure is gone from the cooker, remove lid and adjust water, salt or other masalas.
  10. Garnish with Cilantro and serve with Rice or Chapattis.
  11. Serves 3-4.


  1. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, Lima Beans can be cooked in a microwave with ½ cup of water, salt and turmeric powder.  Prepare the Onion and Tomato Sauce mixture in a separate non-stick pan and mix in cooked Lima Beans.
  2. For those of you who enjoy a tangier flavor, Lime/Lemon Juice can also be added at the end.
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0 thoughts on “Lima Beans Curry

  1. Hey Hetal and Anuja,

    You know what, I took the same recipe but substitued with Lalva Papdi and added cuped potato and also some cut cabbage at the end that gave somewhat crunchy taste … but overall it was very nice and again thanks for the recipe …

  2. Hi — I cant tell you enough how terrific it is to find this recipe. The same recipe has served me well with bindhi, with edamame, with peas, and with cabbage. Probably not very traditional, but having a standard curry prep is a big blessing. Thanks again.

  3. Hi Hetal and Anuja ….

    love this recipe…. I have a question though….can I use canned soya bean in place of lima bean coz soya contains lots of protein and fibre ?

  4. hi heytal,
    thanks for u prompt reply!!

    i dont live in US.. m from india..
    and i asked a few ppl abt lima beans, but nobody’s even heard abt it..
    can u plz tell me another name for it or wat is it called in Gujarati or any other language..

    thanks again..

      1. Hi Sunita,

        The taste of Lima Beans is very different than Val…the dried ones at least. I have not had fresh val. The dried ones have a really different smell.

  5. Hey Hetal, I know what you are talking about! But I meant to ask that in case there isn’t a choice, how would you incorporate canned beans in this particular recipe? Thanks.

    1. Since canned beans are pre-cooked, you can follow all the steps until you add the frozen lima beans into the pressure cooker. Instead, you can add the canned beans and just a little water. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for a few minutes to incorporate the flavors . Btw, you won’t need to use a pressure cooker.

  6. hi hetal n anuja..

    can u plz tell me wat are lima beans exactly??
    is it wat comes out frm papdi or its frm d sprouts category??

    waitin for ur reply..

    1. Lima beans do come from a pod similar to papdi, but the taste is noticeably different. It is not a sprout. If you are in the US, fresh lima beans are very hard to come by (unless you have a farmer’s market nearby). The frozen variety works really well.

  7. Hi,
    Can I use a can of tomato paste in place of the sauce in your recipe?
    How long do the dried beans have to be soaked to be used in this Indian recipe?

    1. Tomato paste has a far more concentrated flavor than sauce so if you use it, use it sparingly. Dried lima beans will yield a completely different flavor to this recipe…we have use the fresh frozen type. If you use dried, you would have to soak the beans for 6-8 hours (or until you can easily poke you nail into one of the beans).

      1. Honestly, I am not a big fan of canned veggies (except for corn). I somehow taste a “tin” flavor…but that may just be me :).

  8. A gujju recipe is to replace lima beans with vaal ni daal and replace tomato sauce with tamarind or dates chutney!
    Handy when you do not have enough veggies in the fridge!

  9. Hi Bhavika,
    Yes, Lima beans can be bought at any American grocery store. We have used frozen ones so look for them in the frozen vegetables section.

  10. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    Thanks for your reply Hetal!

    I finally made this one using tomatoe sauce :-). It came out very good and very tasty. My 3 year old enjoyed it and it was a nice way to get the proteins in.

    The only small mistake I made was I added a little too much tomatoe sauce as I was trying this with one cup lima beans. So I should have appropriately cut down on the sauce. Anyways, I will be making it again with the corret proportion.


  11. hello,

    Thanks for the recipe. I used a 16 oz can of tomato sauce. I added 1 tsp of tamarind paste at the end. it came out good.

    – KB

  12. Hi Pavithra,

    You can definitely use fresh tomatoes. We use tomato sauce because lima beans tend to lose color as you cook them and tomato sauce seems to retain it’s bright red color even after cooking. Fresh tomatoes will taste just fine. You may want to add some fresh lime juice or amchoor powder if the tomatoes are not tangy enough.

  13. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I am going to try it.

    Do I have to use tomato sauce? Instead can I puree raw tomatoes and use it?


  14. Sanjuktaa,

    The lima beans we have used can be bought at any grocery store in the frozen vegetables section. They come frozen and do not need to be soaked at all. We just rinse the lima beans to be on the safe side.

  15. Hi Anuja and Hetal !
    How did you guys celebrate Christimas? and How are you doing? How were ur holidays?
    Well, i love lima beans, dont find them boring at all ! 🙂 And i love to have beans with naans or Parathas. This curry is a very good idea amd i’m sure gonna try it. Thnx for sharing..

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