Indian Butter beans curry (Mota Vaal curry)

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This mota vaal or butter beans curry is really tasty, and has a buttery and creamy texture. It is easy to make and quite healthy too. Serve for lunch or dinner with some warm chappatis, puris, or rice!

Val or Vaal is prepared in many ways in the different regions of India. It is quite famous in Gujarati cuisine; their Vaal Nu Shaak is well known. And although most people consider Lima beans and Butter beans as one and the same, there is a bit of a difference in the shapes and sizes. Butter beans are a type of lima beans, however, lima beans are smaller in size and have a slightly bitter taste while and whereas butter beans are larger, flatter, and creamy to taste. These are legumes and are known by many names including lima bean, butter bean, sieva bean, double bean, or Madagascar bean.

We’ve always eaten a lot of Val or Vaal (Lima Beans), so when Mom said she was making Mota Vaal (Butter beans or large lima beans), we weren’t that excited. But this Mota Vaal curry turned out to be quite different, it’s buttery creamy taste leaves you wanting more! This is Mom’s version of this buttery bean treat…

What ingredients do you need for Butter Beans Curry?

All you need for this recipe is Butter beans or Mota Vaal in Hindi, water, chili powder, tomatoes, green chilies, garlic, bay leaves, kokum, and salt. You can find Kokum in the Asian section of your supermarket.

How To Make Mota Vaal Curry Easily

Rinse and soak the Mota Vaal (Butter beans) in a vessel with water overnight. Soak for about 8-10 hours. This helps remove any dirt and also some of the excess sugar from the beans. You need to remove this excess sugar, or it will make you get gassy.

Butter beans or mota val.
Butter beans or mota val
Soak the butter beans in water.
Soak the butter beans in water

Drain the soaked water and then add the beans to the cooking pot. Add fresh water and salt.

Dice the tomatoes into long wedge-like slices and chop the green chilies into medium size pieces. Add chili powder and also some crushed whole garlic, bay leaves, and kokum to the vessel. Allow this to cook on a high flame in a cooker until the first whistle and then for about 10 minutes on medium flame.

You can also cook it in a normal vessel if you do not have a pressure cooker, but this would take a bit longer, about 25 – 30 minutes on a medium flame.

Bayleaves, tomatoes, chilies, garlic and kokum in a aluminium vessel with water.
Bay leaves and kokum added to the cooking pot

And as easy as that, this tasty buttery mota vaal dish is ready! Serve with some warm chapatis or rice or hand breads!

Butter beans curry in an earthen vessel next to an earthen water glass on a brown table.
Mota vaal curry in an earthen vessel

What’s Perfect About This Butter beans Curry Recipe?

  • It is simple and quick to make.
  • Butter beans have many nutritional benefits.
  • This vegetarian dish requires just a few ingredients and is vegan as well.

Cooking Tips Or Tricks

  • Soak the beans in water overnight for 8-10 hrs, this helps shorten the cooking time.
  • Soaking the butter beans removes the dirt and also removes the excess sugar that makes you gassy.
  • You can remove the skin if you want to.
  • You can finely dice the Garlic instead of crushing the garlic cloves. if you want to.
  • The kokum adds a tangy flavour to the dish.

FAQ’s About Butter Beans

Are Butter beans healthy?

Butter beans have a high nutritional value, they are good for health when cooked properly.

Can butter beans make you sick?

Yes, butter beans or lima beans contain high levels of cyanide. They are not to be eaten raw under any circumstances. They must be cooked or boiled for at least 10 mins before eating.

Is it necessary to soak lima/butter beans?

Yes, soaking the beans before cooking shortens the cooking time and also removes the sugar that causes digestive issues.

What do butter beans taste like?

Butter beans have a creamy texture and a buttery flavour.

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Butter beans curry in an earthen vessel next to an earthen water glass on a brown table.

Butter Beans Curry – Indian Mota Vaal curry

The Indian Butter beans curry known as mota vaal curry is really tasty and has a buttery and creamy texture. You can make it at home in 20 minutes after soaking overnight.
4.8 out of 5 Stars by 5 readers!

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Cook Time 20 mins
Soaking time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 20 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Diet Hindu, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 6 servings


  • 250 g Mota Vaal Butter / Lima beans
  • 1 l Water
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 3 Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Kokum Rinds
  • 1 tbsp Salt


  • Rinse and soak the butter beans in water overnight. (Or soak for 8 hours if cooking at night.)
  • Drain the water and add the beans to a pressure cooker.
  • Add fresh water and salt. Also add cut tomato wedges and chopped green chilies, red chili powder, bay leaves, kokum and crushed garlic to the pressure cooker.
  • Cook on high flame till the first whistle and then continue with the pressure cooker on medium flame for 10 mins.
  • Serve with chapatis, puris, or rice.

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Pinterest image of How to make Vaal curry, served in an earthen vessel with a earthen water glass next to it.
Pinterest Image of a earthen vessel serving butter beans curry and a part of a water glass next to it.
Pinterest image of Butter beans curry in 2 earthen vessels on a brown table next to an earthen water glass.

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