Dancing curry: black bean and halloumi Indian curry vegetarian recipes

6 Oct
Slack bean and halloumi  curry

Black bean and halloumi curry

Don’t laugh, but the story of how my new recipe was concocted is religiously inspired in a non- veg sort of way. Don’t panic, only the thought not the ingredients. This recipe is most definitely vegetarian.

So Navratri has started, a Hindu festival of worship to nine goddesses. Celebration and devotion is marked by nine nights of dancing with great zeal into the small hours whilst clad in colourful saris.

I grew up in Leicester, a city with a lot of Asian inhabitants. During Navratri the city overflowed with scores of Gujarati dancers from all parts of the UK. It felt like every community hall and function hall had a new heartbeat as they swelled with the addictive dance music that characterises Navratri music.

Aside from worship of goddesses and dance Navratri has seemed to be an opportunity for young people to admire each other, shall we say. It’s not surprising is it, pretty young ladies with gorgeous Sari’s…I love Sari’s. To me, an irregular wearer, they fee so impractical but I truly believe that they are one of the sexiest and sophisticated items of clothing a woman can wear.

And this is what I inspired my next recipe. No, not sari’s, but the whole going out and getting hungry after dancing bit…you know that feeling of exuberance, being on your feet and talking away and then by the end of the night the tummy churns. Sudden hunger hits the tummy. You could go and get a take-away, but you can’t eat a portion of chips. You want something tasty, everyone else is talking about kebabs and you see…Halloumi? Bean burger? No. You go and make a halloumi and black bean curry because it is far tastier or you make one in advance because you are good at planning for a busy night.

The halloumi soaks up the curry juices really well and guess what? It doesn’t go stringy or too chewy. It turns it moist and has that familiar salty bite and it works so well with the deep black beans. You have to try this unusual dish, it’s oddly fabulous! Go easy on the salt, add less than you would normally as the cheese is salty.

Ingredients for Vegetarian recipes

250g cooked black beans
125g halloumi cut into bite sized pieces
One red onion finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp minced ginger
4-5 curry leaves
125ml water
1 cup chopped tomatoes (tinned is fine)
Spices; salt to taste, 1/3rd tsp garam masala, 1tsp cumin powder, 1tsp coriander powder, 1/4tsp turmeric, 1tsp cumin seeds


1. Shallow fry the red onion until it is golden brown and then leave it to a side to cool. Once it is cooled, purée it.
2. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil and add cumin seeds, turmeric and the ginger and garlic. Sauté for couple of minutes before adding the cumin powder, curry leaves and coriander powder, then stir on a medium heat for just under a minute.
3. Add the beans and coat them with the spices before adding the tomatoes, fried red onion purée and the water.
4. Bring the curry to a simmer before adding the halloumi cheese. Cook for ten minutes and serve hot.

25 Responses to “Dancing curry: black bean and halloumi Indian curry vegetarian recipes”

  1. Selma's Table October 7, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Yum Deena – this sounds really delicious – would never have thought of halloumi with indian spices. I will give it a go later this week and let you know how I get on. Love the story of the dancing/showcasing! My mum would dress me up in a one of her beautiful saris when I was an older teen to go to all sorts of functions. I could never get the pleats right. I did love how I felt wearing one but when you are used to striding around in trousers and A-line skirts (busy, busy, busy!), it feels quite restrictive for everyday wear…The last time I wore one was when I got married – I wore her beautiful white lace one…

    • Deena Kakaya October 7, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      Hi Selma, it’s great to hear from you, thanks so much for the comment.

      Surprisingly, the halloumi works remarkably well! It takes on a whole new form and a really delicious one at that! I’m looking forward to hearing your post-taste recipes!

      I think modern saris are easier to wear as they are lighter, I feel so much more aware of being a woman when I wear one! A bit of a faff for a novice like me, but well worth it!

      White lace, sounds gorgeous! I bet you felt amazing x

  2. Niki, unifiedspace October 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Oh oh,, I don’t have any halloumi in the fridge today but now I have read this I just feel like it tonight so Im going to have to go back out to the shops! Not sure whether to thank you for this or not!!!

    • Deena Kakaya October 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

      Hi Niki! Let me tell you, it’s definitely worth a trip out! My dad is partial to a bit of grumpiness and his standard response to even the most divine food is, ‘it’s ok’ and even he said its good! Defo do it xx

  3. kellie@foodtoglow October 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Ooh, this sounds yuuuumy! I love that it is so simple too. I have all the ingredients so might just make this tomorrow and report back 😀 PS I love saris. My parents went to India when I was young and brought me and my sis each back a sari and we (a blonde and a redhead) wore it everywhere, including the grocery store. We certainly attracted some odd looks but I think we were very cute! Wish I could still fit in it…

    • Deena Kakaya October 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

      Hello lovely Kelly! I’m so pleased to learn that you’ll be trying it out! You won’t be disappointed…I was really pleasantly surprised at how the halloumi transformed to a moist and juicy texture…gorgeous!

      I bet you and your sis looked amazing in your Saris, I wish I had the patience to wear them at weddings more often…they are super sexy clothing. Of course now my toddler pulls at them and I’m scared of embarrassment! Come and borrow mine, I’ve so many and I’m not making good use of the beauties. X I look forward to you telling me how the curry turned out for you. Xx

  4. Karen October 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    What a WONDERFUL post and recipe and I love the name too! Thanks so much for linking this to Cooking with Herbs Deena! Karen

    • Deena Kakaya October 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

      Karen, I am very flattered that you like my strange but wonderful curry! The one I was trying to link to cooking with herbs is the coriander, ginger and basil pesto pasta…I love that one xx

      • Nalini February 15, 2015 at 10:38 am #

        This looks great. Could you use paneer instead of halloumi?

        • Deena Kakaya February 15, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

          Yes but the star of this recipe really is the halloumi

  5. Deb October 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    My weeknight curry tends to be pot of whatever veggies I have on hand with a few potatoes to mellow and soak up the spicy sauce. I will try the Halloumi cheese, it sounds wonderful!

    • Deena Kakaya October 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

      Your weeknights sound tasty! I guess you could chuck halloumi into one of your week night curries and it’ll soak up the yummy juices! I hope you love it as much as I do! Xx

  6. Niki, unifiedspace October 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    Hi again, Deena. Just to say I made this tonight and I thought it was the perfect cosy comfort food for this time of year. Lovely and easy to make and all things that I keep in my store cupboard so a great idea, thank you. We actually had it with brown basmati which I know is a bit of a carb over dose but I have teenage boys who have done 4 hours of hard exercise today so I need to fill all their corners!

    • Deena Kakaya October 8, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

      Hi Niki! Thanks so much for letting me know that you liked it! I am so pleased 🙂 it is very comforting and juicy. Oh yes, nutty brown rice would be fab with this! Mmm…here’s to more delicious chat lovely Niki xx

  7. wendyblume October 10, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    i love the idea of haloumi and black beans together – yum!

    • Deena Kakaya October 10, 2013 at 7:46 am #

      Hi Wendy! Great to see you here, thank you! I’m so pleased that you like the sound of this unusual combination; I can’t believe how well it worked! I hope you’ll try it out xx

  8. theanxiouscook October 13, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    Intrigued by the addition of halloumi to a curry – might have to try this out (and black beans are always great)! Sadly never tried a sari, they do look lovely…..

    • Deena Kakaya October 13, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      Hello! I’m surprised at his well it worked, so much so that I will be experimenting with halloumi in more Indian dishes. This recipe is do juicy and exciting. I hope that you will try it out x

  9. amuseyourbouchecookery October 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    This recipe looks delicious Deena! I LOVE halloumi but have never thought of putting it in a curry! Great idea!

    • Deena Kakaya October 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

      Thank you Becca! It’s lovely to see you on here 🙂 this combination has taken me by surprise, it’s way better than paneer in a curry…I hope that you’ll try it out xx

  10. teekay December 17, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    These have got to be some of the most beautiful black beans I have ever seen. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

    • Deena Kakaya December 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

      Hello, glad you like the recipe! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment x

      • Dinesh January 1, 2014 at 10:09 am #

        Dear Deena,

        Thanks for this lovely recipe. I stay in Mumbai and I was trying to buy some black beans. Can you tell me what do we call black beans in hindi? Is it similar to lobiya or something else?


        • Deena Kakaya January 1, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

          Hi DInesh, my friends in Mumbai suggest trying the natures basket or Phoenix and maybe look for them as either black beans of turtle beans, which are the same thing. Good luck!


  1. October Cooking with Herbs Round-Up - October 29, 2013

    […] 11. black bean and halloumi Indian curry by Deena of DEENA KAKAYA: What a delectable vegetarian curry, and made with one of my favourite cheeses, Halloumi – this looks amazing! […]

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