Beetroot, chickpea and butter bean curry

As we start to wave goodbye to the summer for another year, we can take some solace in the fact that we’ve got all the hearty and comforting foods that will keep us warm and happy this autumn to look forward to. And to kick things off is this beetroot, chickpea and butter bean curry.

Beetroot is a great source of iron and antioxidants, and has been said to help lower blood pressure by health professionals. Chickpeas and butter beans provide protein and several vitamins and minerals so this combination is really good for you.

Fresh beetroot is a vegetable I rarely buy (I’ve now bought it twice). I tend to opt for the vacuum packed pickled stuff as it’s so easy to add to salads. But I was keen to get my hands dirty (literally; they were bright purple afterwards) and make something a bit different.

And what better way to incorporate beetroot into your food cupboard than by making it the basis for a curry?

I love curry. It’s so versatile and it opens up a world of opportunity for vegans and vegetarians. You can pretty much add any vegetable to a curry. Let’s just take a moment to be thankful for curry.

The earthy softness of the beetroot in contrast to the firm chickpeas and butter beans bring great texture to this curry. The spices, ground almonds and tomatoes work together well to make a rich and flavoursome sauce. And let’s not forget to mention its beautifully bold magenta colouring.



  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 300g beetroot (peeled weight), thickly sliced
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp crushed chillies
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 200g chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp rogan josh curry paste
  • 85g chickpeas
  • 85g butter beans
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 300ml water
  • 4 tbsp natural yogurt (and extra to serve)

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: Serves 2


1.    Put a large pan (that you have a lid for) on a medium heat and pour in the oil.
2.    Stir in the onions and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until soft.
3.    Tip in the mustard seeds and cook for a minute to toast them up. Stir through the curry paste and cook for a further 3 minutes.
4.    Add the beetroot to the pan and stir in with the spicy onion mix, then add the chilli flakes, tomatoes and water.
5.    Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6.    Half way through cooking, give the curry another stir and then add the chickpeas and butter beans. Cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the beetroot has softened.
8.    Remove the lid and give the curry another good stir, then turn up the heat and cook for a final 5 minutes, until the sauce is thick.
9.    Take off the heat, then stir through the almonds, yogurt and some seasoning. Top with yogurt and serve with brown rice, naan bread and mango chutney if you fancy.

This recipe is based on BBC Good Food’s creamy beetroot curry.


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