This quick and delicious bean vindaloo recipe is my answer to cravings for Indian curry take out. Sweet onions, warming ginger, spices, crushed tomato and splashes of vinegar and lemon infuse the creamy kidney beans with so much flavour. Low in fat but high in protein, iron, complex carbohydrates and fiber, this vegan vindaloo is much healthier than the meaty versions and can be made in 30 minutes! Click here for the printable recipe.

Video tutorial for Vegan Vindaloo

After watching too many episodes of Red Dwarf in one sitting, I just had to have some spicy Indian curry. Lister, one of the main characters, had a particular affection for chicken vindaloo so after that marathon, I had vindaloo stuck in my brain. So I was compelled to create a vegan version. Fortunately, I found that it wasn’t difficult to round up all the spices and other ingredients. And kidney beans turned out to be an amazing substitute for the meat since they absorbed all the flavours easily and take less time, especially since I always have a batch of cooked beans in the fridge or freezer these days.

Making Vegan Bean Vindaloo

I find it easiest and quickest to assemble all my ingredients before starting to cook. Especially when dealing with several spices. Don’t be intimidated by the list of spices though; I found them easily at my local supermarket and you just dump them into this recipe. If you prefer to use a vindaloo spice mix, go ahead. Every spice mix is a bit different but you’ll probably need about two tablespoons of spice mix.

Start by sautรฉing sliced onions in a deep heavy pot over medium high heat. I prefer to use red onions both for flavour and for the extra phytonutrients that come with purple vegetables but you can use any onions you like. Cook the onions until they are quite soft, lose much of their purple color (if yours were purple to begin with) and start to turn golden. This takes about 12 minutes for me.

Then add your spices: cumin seeds and mustard first. I only had ground mustard but if you have mustard seeds that would be great. It will take a few seconds for the cumin seeds and mustard to become fragrant, then add ginger, garlic, ground coriander, cloves, black pepper, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, and crushed red chilli peppers. I used half a teaspoon of crushed red chillies and turned out to be a pleasant medium spicy heat level for me. Use your discretion though; I love spice! When in doubt, use half as much. You can always make food spicier; it’s much more difficult to make it milder. The garlic in my photo has turned blue because I crushed it and stored it in the fridge for a day. FYI, that blue colour is totally normal and safe to eat. Cook for an additional minute, stirring every so often so the garlic and ginger don’t burn.

Garlic turns blue if you crush it and let it sit for a while. Totally fine and good fer ya!

Then add cooked and drained kidney beans, crushed tomato, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and salt. Usually, vindaloo uses white vinegar and/or tamarind paste for the tangy flavour. I didn’t have those things and I really really like balsamic vinegar so that’s why I used balsamic. You use what you like. This is your vegan bean vindaloo and there are no rules!

I chose kidney beans in particular for this recipe just because I really like them. I like their size and colour for this type of dish. The creaminess. And the flavour. Even though beans mostly taste similar to me. I’m not that much of a bean connoisseur. Plus, back in the days when I was all about knowing all the protein counts of stuff in stuff, I picked kidney beans as one of the most nutritious. Black beans are up there too, but I prefer the look, taste and texture of kidney beans. But you can use any bean you like for this recipe. Or even use tofu!

You can save the bean liquid as aquafaba! Aquafaba makes a fabulous egg replacer in many baked recipes. It’s even used for vegan meringue!

Turn the heat up, cover, and let this simmer for 10 – 15 minutes so everything gets hot and the flavours mingle together. Afterwards, taste. Then add some lemon juice. Taste again and adjust. You might want to add more lemon, balsamic vinegar, salt, or spice. This recipe ‘as is’ is perfect for me but taste is so personal. It’s up to you! I served this bean vindaloo with turmeric coconut rice (literally rice cooked on the stove with a dollop of coconut cream and a 1/2 teaspoon or so of ground turmeric) for the photos. But throughout the week, I have had it by itself, on top of macaroni noodles, or with bread.

Please let me know if you try this recipe and share your experience in the comments. Also, if you want to support this blog, please share the recipes on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit or wherever you hang out online. It would really help me out.

Printable recipe for Vegan Vindaloo / Kidney Bean Vindaloo


I used US measurements but if you use standard metric sizes for cups (250ml) and tablespoons(15ml)/teaspoons(5ml), the ratios will give you the right results.

Vegan Vindaloo | Kidney Bean Vindaloo
Serves 6
This quick and delicious bean vindaloo recipe is my answer to cravings for Indian curry take out. Sweet onions, warming ginger, spices, crushed tomato and splashes of vinegar and lemon infuse the creamy kidney beans with so much flavour. Low in fat but high in protein, iron, complex carbohydtrates and fiber, this vegan vindaloo is much healthier than the meaty versions and can be made in 30 minutes!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup sliced red onion (about 1/2 medium sized onion)
  2. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  3. 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  4. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  5. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  6. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1 teaspoon turmeric
  8. 1 tablespoon paprika
  9. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chilies
  11. 1" knob of ginger, peeled + crushed
  12. 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  13. 6 cups cooked kidney beans (about 2 large cans drained)
  14. 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  15. 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  16. 1 teaspoon sugar
  17. 2 teaspoons salt
  18. 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
Instructions
  1. Saute onions over medium-medium high heat for 10 minutes or until golden. Add cumin seeds and mustard and cook 30 seconds. Add the rest of the spices, garlic, and ginger and cook 1 more minute.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, beans, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and salt. Turn the heat up and cook until bubbling; about 6 minutes. Turn down to a simmer and cook ten more minutes.
  3. Taste, then add lemon juice. Stir and taste again. Adjust acid/sweet/salt/spicy heat to your preference. Keep in mind that it will get more spicy hot as it rests. Enjoy!
Mary's Test Kitchen http://www.marystestkitchen.com/
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Showing 8 comments
  • Dave
    Reply

    This looks so good! I’m making it Saturday, along with your coconut tumeric rice. I’m assuming you made one cup of dry rice? Also need help on a ginger question I’ve had for a while. A one inch piece equals how much? I’ve bought hands that range from half inch through one and one half inch diameters. A one inch piece can yield half teaspoon to one and one half tablespoons. I usually just grate about a tablespoon per one inch piece.
    Thanks for all the other great recipes and you tube vids that have made switching to a veg life much easier.

    • Mary
      Reply

      Hi Dave!
      Thanks for your questions. I did only make one cup of dry rice this time. I would make more if that was my only starchy accompaniment to this recipe though.
      As for the ginger, it’s very approximate; I mean one inch in length. Usually, the ginger I buy is about 1.5″ in diameter. So, I’d do a tablespoon and a half of grated ginger.
      Thanks for your kind comment! Good luck on your veg journey! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Diana
    Reply

    I’m going to attempt to make this with ingredients that I have. I might have to sub the kidney beans for black. The cumin seed for ground. The garlic and ginger for minced garlic and ginger paste. Oh and the red onion for white. I hope it taste as great as the original with all my substitutes.

    • Mary
      Reply

      I’m sure it will be great with those substitutions! <3

  • Urska
    Reply

    omg I just made this for lunch! it was amaaaazing! I put a little less beans and little more spices (just because i prefer strong tasting food) and i didn’t have mustard seeds so i left them out…but it was still really, really good. i’m 100% making this again :3
    just a question, do you think it would work with lentils? my boyfriend hates beans haha and want to make it for him ๐Ÿ™‚

    i served this with turmeric rice just like you did, and they goes really well together ๐Ÿ™‚
    thank you very much for the recipe! ๐Ÿ™‚ <3 <3

    • Mary
      Reply

      Yay! You’re most welcome. Thanks for the great review, Urska! I haven’t tried with lentils but I’m sure it would be excellent! I think large lentils (like french green lentils) might work better than little split lentils but that’s completely up to your (or your boyfriend’s) preference ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Natalie
    Reply

    I can’t find the rice recipe? I tired searching it nothing comes up?

    • Mary
      Reply

      Hi Natalie,

      You couldn’t find it because there isn’t one. It’s just rice cooked on the stove with a dollop of coconut cream and a 1/2 teaspoon or so of ground turmeric. No exact measurements. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Mary

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