Butter Beans Kurma!

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How many words do I need to express my love for Butter Beans! Butter Beans are a thing from childhood, which never fails to perk up my spirit! Butter Beans are not easily available in every other shop. So when Amma shops at those places where its sold, she always ensured she gets a big batch for us. It was even more special she always used to make parotta along with this.

When we find the packet with these Butter Beans, we all used to fondly shell the beans from their pods. Those long white pods had these lovingly encased within. Its like a nectar being enclosed and lets out to tease you and please you. This time when Amma got these, its been a long while. Still I didn’t want to miss out on the parotta. She got these so cheerfully and placed them on the table! My twins immediately had a field day with these beans.

Though I love these beans to distraction, I have always known this cooked as kurma. But I have known this being cooked in a pulao or salad or however else you may like it. But let me tell you this kurma is the best way to cook this up! Since I didn’t have time to prepare parotta and also as I have a big list of breads to be tried out, I made Tandoori Roti for accompanying this!

I searched the net for more information on Butter Beans. But I could only find it being referred as Lima Beans, which is not what I have on hand. So if you are aware of what this beans are called, do let me know! I made it a point to click the pods with the beans. So please enrich me with more information! Locally these are called Butter Beans for their creamy texture and feel.

Preparation time: 5 mins
cooking Time : 10 – 15 mins in Pressure cooker
Serves – 3-4 persons one serve

Ingredients Needed

Butter Beans – 250 gms
Onions – 2 small
Tomatoes – 2 medium
cloves – 2
Cinnamon – 1″
Cardamom – 1
Ginger Garlic paste – 3/4 tsp
Coconut Paste – 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
Coriander Leaves – for garnish
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tsp

Method to prepare:

Shell the beans from the pods and wash well. Chop all the vegetables.

Heat the pan with oil. Add the whole spices. Fry for a min. Then saute the onions till pink. Add the Ginger Garlic paste and fry for another 2 mins or till the onions are well browned.

Stir in the chopped the chopped tomatoes. Add the salt and turmeric. Simmer for 5 mins. Then add the spice powders. Mix well and cook on high for 2 mins, while you are stirring it.

Add the beans to the tomato gravy and saute well. Make a paste of the coconut and fennel seeds. If you have fennel powder, then use the coconut paste and fennel powder. Let it cook for 1 min.

Add a cup of water to the pan. Cover with cooker lid and put it for 2 whistles. This does not need more whistle as beans are very soft and get cooked fast.

When you have the beans crunchy, its more tasty! so don’t over cook it. At times, when the beans are less, we also use potatoes for a great combination!

For quick preparation, I normally store coconut paste and have ground fennel seeds. My Mixer does not grind small quantities. So we normally have these powdered in small batches and store them in air tight containers so that they don’t loose their aroma!

Indian cooking is much easier if you plan and have things on handy!

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Butter Beans Kurma!
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Cuisine Andhra Pradesh
Cuisine Andhra Pradesh
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Rating: 4
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  1. Never had the chance to cook with butter beans. Let me try if i can get hold of the dried ones. The kurma looks yummy and tempting too. With ur participation to WHB, we readers also get to learn with you. Thanks Valli.

  2. My kids love Butter beans so much valli..I miss this beans so much.will try lima beans.I like to remove the beans from the pods.Gravy looks yummy too

  3. there are two types of lima beans – baby lima beans and the Fordhook. what you call butter beans are the foodhook lima bans,

  4. Valli I know what you mean. Miss those fresh butter beans like crazy. Have to settle for Lima beans which are creamy and called butter beans here but not with the same taste and they are broader and flatter.

    The kurma and the roti looks yummy. No substitute yes.

  5. Srivalli,
    I’ll have to try this dish – I love butter beans. Do you know what it is called in Tamil/Telugu?


  6. Published the previous comment too fast. The butter beans I’ve seen here are not this plump, they are more flatter. But I’ve only used the canned ones. I really like the flavor they impart to the dish – it is closest in taste to mochai/anumulu, which I don’t get here.


  7. i have had this butter beans kurma at one of my friend’s place…i knew it was butter beans only later…loved them!!

  8. I see that Bee has found some good information about the various types of butter/lima beans. I’ve been beans similar to this in a can here, but I haven’t found dried beans called butter beans. They sound delicious the way you’re preparing them!

  9. These look more like borlotti beans. Butter beans is a term used for baby lima beans, although there is a speckled butter bean that is less commonly seen and which cooks up dark whereas the baby lima cooks up a light color.
    The pods of your beans are similar to that of pinto beans, however, pinto beans are a bit longer than borlotti beans. These are more round than long and that’s why I’m thinking borlotti.
    My family grew a lot of beans at one time and I’ve shelled more than my share.
    Nice recipe. I intend to make it.

  10. Ya! This is the first time i am seeing that was on the Internet…

    Its looking delicious….

    Better any cook for me…..

    Ha ha ha!!!!

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