Stovetop & Instant Pot Curried Adzuki Beans

Curried Adzuki Beans Recipe + How to Cook (Stovetop and Instant Pot)
Chances are you’ve never heard of adzuki beans, but they are super-popular in Asian cuisine and bakeries — these protein-packed pods are often used to create red bean paste. Growing up in India, adzuki beans were a staple in my mom’s kitchen. I love the firm texture and nutty flavor. It used to be nearly impossible to find them in the U.S., but Bob’s Red Mill was the answer to my adzuki bean prayers! Now that they’re a bit more popular I can also get my organic adzuki beans online at Shiloh Farms, and I can to make this recipe whenever I want!

Besides adzuki, the variations of beans are limitless! They are inexpensive and one of the best protein substitutes for vegetarians. A few variations you’re probably familiar with are black beans, cannellini beans, mung beans, kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans, and garbanzo beans. If you’re a bean fanatic like I am, you should try my Black-Eyed Pea Curry and my Kala Chana Curried Black Chickpeas.

Stovetop or Instant Pot Curried Adzuki Beans

Growing up in India, adzuki beans were a staple in my mom’s kitchen. I love them because they have a firm texture and nutty flavor. I had trouble finding them in the U.S. until I discovered Bob’s Red Mill, and I am so thankful I did! Curried adzuki beans with basmati rice is a super-easy and delicious weeknight dinner for my family.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup dried red adzuki beans (rinsed well, drained, soaked overnight)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 medium red onion (peeled, thinly sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 cup tomatoes (chopped, pureed)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)

Instructions

Instant Pot Method

  1. Pick through the beans to remove any stones or debris, then rinse them well to remove any remaining dirt.

  2.  Soak the beans in about 4 cups of water overnight.

  3. When ready to cook, turn your instant pot to the "Sauté" setting and add oil.

  4. After about 1 minute add the cumin seeds, waiting until they begin to sizzle and become fragrant.

  5. Add the red onion, garlic, and ginger, and sauté until soft and wilted.

  6. Add the powdered cumin, turmeric, and coriander powder, stirring well.

  7. Add the pureed tomatoes, adzuki beans, salt, and 2 cups of water.

  8. Cover the instant pot and hit "Cancel", then set it to "Beans/Chili Mode" and cook for 25 minutes.

  9. Remove the cover and stir in the garam masala and lime juice.

  10. Serve with steamed basmati rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Stovetop Method

  1. Pick through the beans to remove any stones or debris, then rinse them well to remove any remaining dirt.

  2. Soak the beans in about 4 cups of water overnight.

  3. When ready to cook, heat oil in a large pot on medium heat.

  4. After about 1 minute, add the cumin seeds and wait until they begin to sizzle and become fragrant.

  5. Add the red onion, garlic, and ginger, and sauté until soft and wilted.

  6. Add the cumin powder, turmeric, and coriander powder, mixing well. (Want a little kick? Add about ½ a teaspoon of chili flakes or more if you like.)

  7. Add the pureed tomatoes, adzuki beans, salt, and 4 cups of water.

  8. Cook until the beans are tender (about 1 ½ hours).

  9. Stir in the garam masala and lime juice.

  10. Serve with steamed basmati rice and garnish with fresh cilantro. (If you want a creamy addition, try topping it with 1 tablespoon of low-fat coconut cream.)

BON APPÉTIT!

Pro Tips: If you have a sensitive tummy, boil your adzuki beans for about 10 minutes for soaking to ensure that the components that are typically on beans are removed and will help with digestion. Leftovers? Curried adzuki beans can be stored in an airtight container for about 2-3 days in the refrigerator!

Are Adzuki Beans the Same as Red Beans?

Native to the Himalayas and now widely grown all through Asia, adzuki beans are easily mistaken for kidney beans because they’re both red. Kidney beans, also called red beans, are shaped like kidneys and double the size of adzuki beans. Adzuki beans separate themselves proudly with a white thread along part of the stem. Try using this protein-packed legume the next time you’re tempted to use black beans or garbanzo beans in a recipe — you won’t be disappointed!

Curried Adzuki Beans Recipe + How to Cook (Stovetop and Instant Pot)

are Adzuki Beans Good For your health?

Beans in general are proven to help with improving heart health, lowering cholesterol, and lowering the risk of cancer, and these particular little red beans have even more health benefits to offer:

  • They are high in protein, fiber, and micronutrients.
  • Although high in protein and fiber like its counterpart garbanzo and black beans, adzuki beans are saturated with micronutrients.
  • They have high folate content, which helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases and is vital for cell growth, function, and metabolism.
  • They are full of nutrients like copper, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
  • They have a high manganese content, which helps in promoting normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.

What Do Adzuki Beans Taste Like?

Vibrant red in color, these beans have a nutty and sweet flavor. In Asian cooking they’re used in lots of desserts like pastries and cheesecakes, and in other cultures they’re surprisingly found in savory dishes served with rice, added to fresh salads, smoothies, wraps, casseroles, and even added to delicious soups.

How Do You Use Dried Adzuki Beans?

If you have dried adzuki beans in your pantry, simply rehydrate by soaking them in water for 1-2 hours and you’re all set. If you don’t plan on using your dried adzuki beans for a while, make sure you store them in a cool, dark, dry place (I store mine in the pantry). When you come home from the grocery store, be sure to take your beans out of the bag and store them in an airtight container.

Do Adzuki Beans Need to Be Soaked?

It’s not crucial to soak adzuki beans before cooking, but there are a couple of benefits to pre-soaking them overnight at room temperature. This will help to reduce the cooking time and help to peel off any components that can cause (or not help!) an upset stomach. If you choose to skip soaking, just simmer the beans until they’re soft and tender, but note this could take up to 2 hours.

How do you Cook Adzuki Beans?

Cooking dried adzuki beans is a bit delicate, and having the right consistency is important depending on what dish you’re making. In my experience, a slow and steady simmer instead of a boil is the key to getting perfectly cooked adzuki beans. Here is a really simple way to cook them:

  1. Rinse 1 cup of beans well, picking out any stones or debris.
  2. Soak them overnight or for 3-4 hours.
  3. Drain the water.
  4. Add about 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of in a large pot.
  5. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil with the lid on.
  6. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to a simmer.
  7. Allow it to cook for about 1 hour (covered).
  8. Remove from the heat until tender.

Hint: Adding additional seasonings such as shallots, fresh garlic, green onions, and even bay leaves will enhance the flavor of these pleasantly appetizing beans.

CURRIED ADZUKI BEANS Health Benefits

There is a plethora of health benefits to this recipe if prepared as directed.  Here are a few you can gain by using the ingredients in this dish:

  • Adzuki Beans: High fiber and folate content which helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Coriander: Can help with fighting infections and can help with digestion and gut health.
  • Cumin: Can help control blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and assist in weight loss.
  • Garam Masala: Powerful antioxidant that helps relieve heartburn, indigestion, and bloating.
  • Garlic: Can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Ginger: Can treat chronic indigestion, help with nausea, and reduce menstrual pain.
  • Lime Juice: Powerful source of antioxidants, can help to reduce heart disease, and promotes healthy skin.
  • Olive Oil: Rich in monounsaturated fats, may prevent stroke and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Onions: High in antioxidants, help control blood sugar, and may boost bone density.
  • Tomatoes: Good source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K, and folate, and helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Turmeric: Powerful antioxidant, natural inflammatory, and is good for your skin.

This stovetop and instant pot curried adzuki beans recipe is healthy, gluten-free, vegan, dairy free and absolutely delicious, so let’s get cooking! And I know “adzuki” sounds like a made-up word, so if you had to name a bean of your own, what would you call it? Comment below; I can’t wait to see what you come up with!


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Comments? Questions? Please share!

  • Olivia

    If I don’t have an instant pot can I just do it on the stove with the same measurement? Thank you!

    • veggiecurean

      NO worries. If you don’t have Instant Pot here are modifications to be made. Soak beans overnight (or for 4 hours at least) in ample water. Drain and set aside. Follow the recipe in a large pot and cook in 3 cups of water for 40 minutes to an hour. Add more water if needed. Enhoy. This is a great recipe.

    • Dina Spari

      I did not see when to put in the turmeric? I simmered mine on the stove for an hour and the beans weren’t even close to being done. I’m going to try for two hours of stove simmering.

      • veggiecurean

        Apologies, tumeric powder goes in with powdered cumin and powdered coriander. And re cooking on the stove. Did you soak the beans overnight or 4 hours? I will cook them again this to double-check and report back. Best, Shihka

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