Runner bean & curry leaf bhajis with coconut chutney

Use up a garden glut of runner beans or buy them fresh to make these bhajis. Make sure you try the coconut chutney – it really is the perfect accompaniment

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:20 mins
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 444
  • fat 25g
  • saturates 12g
  • carbs 37g
  • sugars 8g
  • fibre 9g
  • protein 12g
  • salt 1.3g


  • 3 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander stems, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • ½ lime, juiced, plus wedges to serve
  • 150g gram flour
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • pinch of ground pink peppercorns
  • pinch of ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp mild red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Sri Lankan curry powder(see recipe below) or Madras curry powder
  • 200ml chilled tonic water
  • 150g runner beans, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 1 red onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 1l vegetable oil, for frying


To make Sri Lankan curry powder

In a dry frying pan, toast 2 tbsp basmati rice until it's browning, then add 4 tbsp coriander seeds, 2 tbsp cumin seeds, 2 tbsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1 tbsp cloves and the seeds from 35 cardamom pods. Toast for 3-5 minutes until darkish brown but not burned. Blitz it all in a spice grinder, or crush in a pestle and mortar, then pass through a sieve into an airtight container. Will keep for up to three months. 


  1. To make the chutney, put the desiccated coconut and ½ tsp salt into a bowl and pour over the coconut milk, stirring to combine. Melt the coconut oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the black mustard seeds. Fry them until they start to crackle, then add the shallot, coriander stems and chilli, and fry for a minute or so. Pour the contents of the pan into the bowl with the coconut, add the lime juice, and stir to combine. 

  2. To make the bhajis, put the flours, ½ tsp salt, the curry leaves and spices in a bowl and stir to combine. Whisk in the tonic water until you have a smooth batter about the consistency of double cream. Add the runner beans and onion and, using your hands, mix it all really well with the batter.

  3. Fill a deep pan half full with vegetable oil, and put on a medium to high heat, until a piece of bread dropped in sizzles and turns golden brown within 20 seconds or so. In batches, spoon in large dollops of the runner bean batter. Fry for 3-5 mins until golden and crispy, then drain on kitchen paper. Season well, then serve with the chutney and lime wedges.

Suggested recipes from this collection...