Lamb Bean Stew

This curry is like an Indian chili…you can use almost any bean in this recipe. 

makes 4-6 cups


1 cup red, white or any other dried beans

4 Tbsp ghee 

1 tsp kalonji seeds (or cumin seeds)

2 cups minced onion

12 oz lamb ground (or chicken, turkey or beef)

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp turmeric

1 ½ tsp salt

1 tsp chili powder

2 Tbsp ginger purée

1 tsp ground cardamom

½ cup coconut milk

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

2 Tbsp chopped mint

juice of one lemon


  1. Soak the beans for 2-3 hours. Drain, add 3 cups fresh water and cook the beans at medium heat in a covered stockpot until tender. Add water ½ cup at a time if needed. Depending on the size of the beans, they will take 45 minutes to an hour an a half. Save the beans with the liquid.
  2. In a separate stockpot, heat up the ghee and pop the kalonji seeds. Add the minced  onions and sauté until light golden in color. (Alternately add ¼ cup of caramelized chopped onions to speed up this process)  Add the ground lamb, black pepper, turmeric and salt. Cook on high heat for 5-7 minutes allowing the spices to coat the lamb. 
  3. Next add the chili powder, ginger purée, ground cardamom and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the beans with water, cover the pot and cook on low-medium heat for 20-30 minutes (stir every 5 minutes) or until the lamb is cooked through. Add the coconut milk and continue cooking. The curry should be thick and slightly creamy looking - if it appears dry, add more water or coconut milk. Stir in cilantro, mint, lemon juice and serve.  

ideas / variations

  • For a vegetarian option, replace lamb with minced wild mushrooms. 
  • Replace the coconut milk with pureed fresh or canned tomatoes for a lighter finish.