Vegan Pumpkin and Red beans curry with coconut

Vegan Pumpkin and red beans curry with coconut. A coconut rich legume and pumpkin based authentic Kerala recipe.

Two important points to note in the preparation are :

  • Soaking the beans
  • Frying the coconut to perfect crispy brown.Use mature coconut for best results but if fresh coconut is not available frozen grated can be used.

Can unflavored dry desiccated coconut be used in the pumpkin bean curry ?

If all efforts of getting fresh grated coconut fails then use desiccated coconut. But do not expect same taste.

How to know if the fresh whole coconut is mature ?

When the coconut shell is broken into two the meat inside the coconut should be towards the dry, dense and firm side with very little coconut water. While grating the meat should have very less moisture and give out more of an oily texture. These coconuts are best for toasting/ dry roasting and give best results. Smells heavenly when heated during toasting.

If the coconut has a lot of water inside while breaking and while grating if the white meat inside comes out quickly without too much pressure with a lot of moisture content it means the coconut is young or tender. This coconut is best for making coconut milk. If this is put on the stove for dry roasting it will take much longer to get brown.

Should the dry beans be soaked ?

It is always best to soak all types of dry beans used in Indian cooking. This removes the indigestible sugars and reduces flatulence. Wash the beans and change the water 2-3 times while soaking if possible.

Always soak beans in lot of water. Merely just enough water for the beans to expand will simply dry out the top layer and result in uneven soaking and affect cooking later. Uniformly soaked beans is very important in the preparation of this recipe.

Vegan Pumpkin and red beans curry with coconut horizontal

Vegan Pumpkin and Red beans curry with coconut

Vegan Pumpkin and Red beans curry with coconut
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Beans soaking time 8 hours
Servings 4


  • Instant pot, non-stick pan


  • 1 cup Dry Red beans
  • 1 small piece Indian pumpkin (Use any thick gourd or yam intead)

To grind :

  • 3 tbsp Fresh grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 Green chilli (Remove seeds if low tolerance to heat)
  • 1 tsp Chili powder (use paprika powder for mild heat)
  • 1/3 tsp Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

For tempering :

  • 3 tbsp Coconut grated
  • 2 Whole red chilies
  • 2 sprigs Curry leaves
  • 4 tsps Coconut oil


  • Wash and soak the red beans in 4-5 cups of water for 3-4 hours or overnight is best.
  • Remove the hard outer peel off the pumpkin and the soft innermost skin. Wash and cut into slightly large squares.
  • In the instant pot cook the soaked beans adding a 1 cup of water. Turn nozzle to sealing mode. PRESS MANUAL MODE — HIGH PRESSURE — 5 MINUTES.
  • In the meantime grind the ingredients given in the list to a paste (need not be fine).
  • After natural pressure release open the instant pot and check if the beans are 3/4 th cooked. Add the cut pumpkin pieces to the instant pot add two cups of water. Close the lid, turn the nozzle to sealing mode and PRESS MANUAL MODE –HIGH PRESSURE — 2 MINUTES
  • After natural pressure release open the lid and check if the pumpkin and the beans are cooked well. DO NOT MASH BY STIRRING TOO MUCH. Stir gently.
  • Add the ground paste PRESS SAUTE MODE LOW setting -Allow the pumpkin bean curry to boil for 7-8 minutes. Until all the flavors mingle. Switch off sauté mode. In the meantime fry the tempering.
  • For tempering heat a small pan on the stove top. Add coconut oil and when it heats up add mustard seeds when it crackles add the whole red chili, curry leaves and coconut grated keep continuously stirring on low to medium heat until coconut turns evenly brown (not black). This will take a few minutes. Do not leave the coconut unattended as it will burn on the bottom very quickly.
  • Once the tempering is brown immediately add it to the pumpkin bean curry and gently stir. Serve it warm along with other side dishes and rice.



  • The curry will thicken as the tempering gets added.
  • As the curry sits and cools down it will thicken even more. It is a semi thick curry so keep the consistency in mind.
  • If you like to keep the shape of the pumpkin and the beans intact instead of waiting for natural pressure release resort to quick release after 5 minutes.

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