Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Coconut Bean Curry with Collard Greens

Today's recipe is an indulgent one, creamy and rich, chockful of nutrient rich ingredients and goes well with either flat bread or any grain. As a vegetarian family, we do tend to use a lot of beans and grains in our meals. I also try to use fresh vegetables and fruits in our diet to get all the micronutrients. 

The one thing that I want to increase this year is the amount of greens we consume. Leafy greens are typically low in calories and fat and have high protein content per calorie. They also tend to have high levels of fiber, Vit. A, Vit. C, Vit. A and Vit. K. Dark greens also provide a significant amount of folate which promotes heart health. 

I had purchased Collard greens during my last grocery trip. Although I remember my mom preparing a lot of greens while I was growing up, we never had collard greens available in the markets. I had never purchased a bunch before and I now wonder why I didn't. I have been using these greens in soups, rotis (Indian flatbread) and have really enjoyed the flavor and texture. Collards are from the Brassica family, the same family that cabbages and broccoli belong to. They have large dark green leaves and a thick center stem. I use the stems also, finely chopping them ensures that they cook quickly as well. 

I also had cooked navy beans in the refrigerator. Minestrone soup had been on the menu for the week and I had about a cup leftover. I had all the ingredients to make a curry and that is what we had for lunch on Saturday.

I used my Instant Pot to make this recipe, but the same recipe can very easily be made on the stove top or in a conventional pressure cooker.


1 C cooked beans (navy beans, chick peas, red beans, any will do)

1 Can coconut milk (You can use low fat milk, I used the full fat version)

2 C chopped fresh greens (I used collard greens, but you could use spinach, chard or other greens of choice)

2 tsp oil

1 tsp cumin seeds 

1/2 C chopped onions

1/4 C tomato puree

2 tsp salt

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala or curry powder of choice

chopped fresh cilantro for garnishing


1. Switch on the electric pressure cooker on Sauté mode. Once its hot, add the oil and the cumin seeds.

2. Once the cumin seeds crackle, add the onion and fry until softened. Add the tomato puree (use chopped tomatoes as an alternative), salt and turmeric. Fry until the tomatoes are soft.

3. Add the spice powders, mix well and then stir in the greens.

4. Add a 1/4 C of water.

5. At this stage, turn the cooker off. Close the lid and hit the Steam option. Keep the vent closed.

6. Set the time to 4 minutes. Once the timer beeps, let it rest for 5 minutes and then manually vent the steam. Take care to vent away from your face.

7. Carefully open the lid. Stir the contents. The fresh greens will be cooked to tender.

8. Add the beans, the coconut milk and heat through using the Sauté mode once again.

9. Taste for salt and spice levels and adjust if necessary.

10. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with rice or flat bread.


1. The entire family loved this dish with rotis. I kept the spice at a medium level so that my kids could enjoy this as well.

2. The dish is naturally vegan. Although coconut milk is high in saturated fat, this is balanced in the recipe due to the fiber and the beans and the greens. A once in a while indulgence that I am comfortable with. If you would rather use low fat coconut milk, please note that the curry will be thinner and you might need to cook it down further to achieve the right consistency.

3. If you are using an Instant Pot, please make sure you follow all the guidelines set by the manufacturer. Make sure there is enough liquid in the inner pot for the food to cook properly.

4. If you are making the dish on the stove, cover and cook the greens until tender and then stir in the beans and the coconut milk.

Do try this recipe and let me know if you liked it. 

What greens do you usually use in your cooking? Do share, I am always on the lookout for more ways to include them in our diet. 

Happy Cooking !