May 10, 2023

Plantain and Bean Curry

This plantain and bean curry is a hearty one-pot dish that is filling and sure to be a winner at the dinner table. With flavors of curry and coconut milk, it’s great for meal prep and is a quick dinner idea for weeknights when you have no time.

What are plantains?

Plantain is a cultivar of bananas, sometimes referred to as cooking bananas. While it is a fruit, it behaves more like a root vegetable than a banana, is very starchy, and cannot be eaten raw. While they are common in the Caribbean, West, and Central Africa, as well as Southern and Central America, Plantains are indigenous to Southeastern Asian countries. Plantains have varying levels of ripeness, starting from green unripe and very starchy to overripe, less starchy, and sweeter.

What beans should I use?

In this plantain and bean curry, I used red and white kidney beans but feel free to use any other bean you wish. If you want to keep it Caribbean, you can use black beans or pigeon peas. Other legumes that will work well are lentils and chickpeas.

Other things to know about this recipe

  • While cooked beans are preferred, canned beans can be used for convenience. If using canned beans, it’s best to rice them off and drain them well, especially if using kidney beans. Kidney beans from the can have a natural red residue that will change the color of the curry.
  • Green unripe plantains are preferred for this recipe but feel free to use plantains at any ripeness. Keep in mind the sweeter the plantain, the less time it needs to cook. if using ripe plantains, add them during the last 5 or so minutes of the cooking process so they do not get very mushy.
  • Light coconut milk was used in this recipe but feel free to use full-fat coconut milk if you wish.
  • This is a great recipe to add greens to. Sometimes I add spinach or kale during the last few minutes of cooking to get them just wilted.
  • If you cannot find a compatible Carribean curry powder, just add turmeric to the one you can find. Carribean curry powder has more turmeric, so it’s a bit more yellow. I love using the one from All Seasoning as well as all their spices.

Next up: Why is adding a variety of plant-based proteins beneficial?

Plant-Based Bean and Lentil Curry
Recipe and photos by Andy McIntosh

Plantain and Bean Curry

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 plantains peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper diced
  • 3 stalks green onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp curry powder divided
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can white kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 lite coconut milk
  • 1 cup vegetable broth


  • PEEL and dice plantain and carrots, then set aside.
  • HEAT a heavy bottom pot on medium heat. Once hot, add in coconut oil and let it melt. Once melted, add in 1 tbsp curry powder and let loom in the oil for 1-2 minutes. Then add in onion, green bell pepper and green onion. Sauté until onions are translucent.
  • ADD in the remaining 1 tbsp curry powder, all-purpose seasoning, ground ginger, garlic powder, and dried thyme. Stir to combine. Then add in kidney beans, coconut milk, and broth and stir.
  • COVER and let the liquid come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer with lid on for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • SERVE by itself or with cauliflower rice.
Andy McIntosh wearing a light gray shirt and smiling at the camera.

Andy McIntosh

Andy McIntosh (he/him) is a flight attendant and recipe developer who shares Jamaican and Caribbean dishes as well as travel tips across his social media channel, TriangleTravelingCaveman. He moved from Jamaica just before he turned 15 and has lived in many major US cities including NYC, Phoenix, Houston and Chicago. His grandfather was a butcher, while his grandmother and mother taught him everything he knows about cooking.Andy has a passion and love for sharing recipes that are as traditional as you can get – but with Whole30 compatible ingredients. His goal is to show that doing a Whole30 doesn’t mean giving up Jamaican and Caribbean food.