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Double Bean (Lima Bean) Masala

Double_Bean_Lima_Masala_1 Double bean is a bean variety and is also called as lima bean. They are starchy and have a buttery texture that is why some people call this as butter beans. They come in two colours white and purple. Like any other bean, they are packed with minerals and dietary fiber. Fresh lima beans are available during winter season. Fresh ones are tastier than the dried ones. Dried lima beans need soaking before cooking. They look bigger than the other bean variety and become further bigger after soaking. Here I have prepared a delicious lima bean masala using dried ones.

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 35 minutes approximately except soaking time


  • Double beans – 200 gm (soak it for 8 to 10 hours)
  • Onion – 1 no
  • Tomato – 1 no
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 table spoon
  • Coriander/curry leaves – few
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tea spoon
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tea spoon
  • Coriander powder – 1½ tea spoon
  • Salt – as per taste
  • For dry grinding
    • Coconut – 1/8th of coconut
    • Aniseeds – 1 tea spoon
    • Green chilli – 1 no
  • For seasoning
    • Cinnamon, small sticks – 2 to 3 no
    • Cloves – 3 no
    • Oil – 2 tea spoon

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  • Soak double beans for 8 to 10 hours; wash, pressure cook with a pinch of turmeric and few drops of oil for 3 to 4 whistles or till soft; drain water and keep the water for further use.
  • Chop onion, tomato and curry/coriander leaves; dry grind the items given.

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  • Heat a pan, add oil and do the seasoning; add chopped onion, fry until soft and transparent; add tomato, ginger garlic paste and fry for a while; add all dry masala powder, mix well, stir for few seconds.

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  • Add drained water from cooked double beans and salt; now add ground masala, mix well, bring to boil.

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  • Add cooked beans; let the water evaporate so that double beans can absorb salt and masalas; when the curry is with little moisture, switch off gas; add coriander leaves.

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  • Serve with rice or chappati.



  • Coconut amount can be varied as per your taste.
  • No need to soak if you are using fresh double (lima) bean.


This post is part of the event “My Legume Love Affair – the 16th helping” hosted by Cook Sister! and scheduled by The Well-Seasoned Cook.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Priya October 27, 2009, 3:49 am

    Double beans masala looks simply superb, prefect with rotis..

  • nina schiodt May 18, 2010, 8:35 pm

    plleas ecan oyu tellll me what a gadra bean is ? the indian community in cDurban SA us ethem but i was wondering if the reis another name for them? indian bean ? and what they lookk like?

  • nina schiodt May 18, 2010, 8:37 pm

    Sorry – typing too fast my spelling atrocious!!

  • Chris King February 20, 2011, 12:52 am

    Hi Nina,
    I am growing what were given to me as Gadra beans. There are 2 sizes – small and large! (not very imaginative but again, that’s what I was told when given the dry beans to plant). They both grow well and need very little attention apart from 2 things; they love water and they MUST be planted so that they can grow up a fence or trellis – preferably 2 to 3 metres high. They also love the sun – here in Zululand they get plenty!. If you would like pics of the beans in pods and shelled I will be happy to send you. Gadra’s are amazing – very productive with minimum attention. At present out of 6 mixed plants (covers about 6 metres of fence) I harvest 2 Kgs of beans per week – this is off the vine, not shelled. So if you have a place to grow these, even only as big as a door or 2, you will be rewarded!.
    From what I can make out these are similar to Lima or butter beans, but being a newbie I can’t be sure.
    Hope this helps, and if you would like some seeds let me know and I will do what I can to get some to you.
    Chris King, Empangeni

  • Vits Maharaj April 25, 2011, 11:04 pm


    I’m no expert but I think that chris has indeed described a bean that growing in the rural part fo KZN, we called the Doubla bean ( aka double bean….in fact a lima, butter bean variety – Yes in KZN two types excite the cook the smaller often unspeckled type…common with a pink tip and the large speckled…both absolutely delicious….)

    The Gadra bean…..as far as I know is in fact a variety of the speckled sugar bean….we have become used to sugar bean being a dried variety….so when still in a pod…..before drying…I think this is what we called the gadra bean….

    My thoughts anyway….one thing for sure…gadra, doubla or whatever you call them…they are all simply delicious…..I have often wondered why these are not sold frozen in commercial scale…….maybe one day…

  • Fatima July 1, 2012, 1:54 am

    Hi I came across this site while looking for a South African alternative to the fava bean? I want to make a ‘foul-hummus’ dish that requires fava beans. Wiki says that the fava bean is a broad bean, can one use gadra beans in place of fava beans???

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