Vaal Bean Curry (Field bean Curry)


I have been trying to post this recipe for weeks and have been hesitating as I am not sure what the biological name for this bean is.  I did some research on Google and found that it is the field bean but then some people were calling it the hyacinth bean as well. Also Known as  Lima beans, Dried vaal, Fava beans, Butter beans.

It’s sold in Indian shops as val or vaal.  Val curry is really popular in all Gujarati homes and served as a dish at most Gujarati weddings too. Val beans have exceptional nutritional value. They are high in protein as well as vitamin A, the vitamin B complex, vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as various minerals and enzymes. Highly recommended as rich in nutrients like protein and fiber which aid digestion and help prevent diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Val grows like any bean as a creeper.   It’s green beans are called valor (Dolichos Lablab or Hyacinth bean) and they look like this:

Valor curry is really tasty too.

It’s seeds (you can see them below) can be eaten green or are  dried and become the val bean.

And this is what they look like dried:


These whole Vaal beans are sometimes split and sold as Vaal dall.  The split Vaal Daal curry is also tasty and cooks really quick if using the instant Pot. 

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 2 cups of whole Val
  • I cup of Passata ( you can used fresh tomatoes too or tinned tomatoes too) Passata is made from ripe tomatoes that have been puried and sieved to remove the skin and seeds. It’s sauce is a lot thicker and helps make the gravy in curry look richer and thicker. Passata is sold in bottles or cartons in most supermarkets and comes in various flavours such as garlic, basil etc.
  • 2  tbls  of oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 2 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 tsp ajwein seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilly powder
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbls lemon juice
  • 1 tbls sugar substitute like Splenda ( or you can used jaggery or brown sugar
  • 1 small bunch of coriander
  • some curry leaves.
  • 2 fresh green chilies sliced into small pieces


1.  Wash and soak the val beans overnight (at least 6-7 hours).

2.  Once soaked, boil them in lots of water until soft.  Val beans do take a lot of time to cook so using a pressure cooker would make this a lot easier. My tip is to soak a large amount of val beans and cook them all and freeze them to use as required. 

3. Once cooked, strain the water and prepare the tempering.

4.  Add all the spices -salt, turmeric,chilly powder, crushed garlic, lemon juice, green chilies, curry leaves, coriander and sugar substitute  to the tomato mixture and mix it all together. If using fresh tomatoes, I suggest that you boil them in hot water to soften them first.
5. Heat the 2 tablespoons cooking oil  and add the mustard seed, dry red chilies and ajwain  and allow them to cook until the  mustard stops popping.  I was told by my mum that adding ajwein to the tempering helps to give val nice taste and also helps with digestion.
6.  Add the tomato and spices mixture to this hot oil and cook until the tomatoes go soft and homogeneous.
7.  Add the boiled val  to the tomato mixture and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes.  
8. The sauce should all be nicely soaked up by the val.

Tip: If the sauce looks too runny – you can 1 or 2 teaspoons of chick pea flour or corn flour to thicken it. If you like your  gravy to be runny, you can add half a cup of water to the mixture.

 9. Garnish with coriander and serve the val curry with rice and chappatis


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