Beans are never boring when they're heirloom beans! This deliciously vegan curry takes the whole beans and rice thing to an exotic new level. Silky smooth yet dense King City Pink Beans are cooked in a flavorful broth with garlic, ginger and curry powder then enrobed in layers of flavorful coconut curry broth. 

About King City Pink Beans

organic king city pink beans

The King City Pink heirloom bean has a rich history and a big flavor. They have a delicious taste that will knock you over it's so good. King City Pinks are dense and meaty with a delicate, thin skin and a luscious broth. The are about the size of a navy bean, larger than the other pink bean famous in California, the pinquito. 

In the 1800s Charles King purchased inexpensive land on the central coast region of California not far from Monterey. When he was successful growing wheat, King City was born and quickly became an agricultural hub also growing the pink beans that bear its name. By the 1930s when John Steinbeck wrote Tortilla Flats, King City was shipping pink beans across the nation. Steinbeck has deep connections to King City and mentions the pink beans in Tortilla Flats and uses the town as a setting for several scenes in Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck's father claimed to have been the first permanent resident of King City and he met and married his wife there. 

king city pink bean curry recipe


  • 1lb King City Pink Beans
  • 3-5 cups Veggie Stock
  • 2 Cinnamon Tree Leaves (or Bay Leaves)
  • 2 tbsps Ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1-2 fresh or dried chilis (serrano, fresno, jalapeno, etc)
  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Lime, extra cilantro and fresh sliced chilis for serving
  • cooked basmati rice, to serve


  1. Using either a slow cooker, dutch oven on the stove or a pressure cooker set to sauté mode, melt the ghee or coconut oil. Add the cumin seed and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant. 
  2. Add the onion and salt and sauté for 1 minute until starting to soften.  Add the red pepper and sauté a minute longer. Add the garlic, chili pepper and ginger and stir until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Do not let the garlic start to brown. Add the curry powder and stir for another 30 seconds until your kitchen is enveloped in the amazing smell. 
  3. Add 1/2 cup of the veggie stock and stir the bottom of the pot to scrape up any bits of onion and spice that might have stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the beans to the pot. Add stock and cinnamon leaves. If using a pressure cooker add 4 cups of stock to the pot, if using a slow cooker use 5 cups and if cooking stovetop add 6 cups of stock. You want the beans to be fully submerged with 1-2 inches of stock above the line of the beans. 
  5. If using a pressure cooker, close the lid and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes and allow the steam to escape naturally for 15 minutes before opening. If stovetop bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for 1-2 hours until the beans are very tender, adding water as needed to keep the beans submerged with at least an inch of liquid to spare. If using a slow cooker cook on high for 4 hours or on low all day long or overnight. 
  6. After the beans are completely cooked add 1/2 to a full can of coconut milk, and stir in the tomato paste. Add one can of drained chopped tomatoes or fresh chopped tomatoes and the chopped cilantro reserving some for serving. Bring back to a boil and cook for another 15 minutes until all fo the flavors have melded. 
  7. Serve over rice with cilantro, sliced chilis, diced tomato and a wedge of lime.
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