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Black bean chia koftas with healthy curry sauce

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Do you have days when you really don’t want to go to the shops but want something tasty for dinner? (But don’t want a take-away!) Or maybe, the budget is a bit tight, but you still want to eat well? Well give these black bean chia koftas a go!

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This recipe uses basics in the store cupboard and taste delicious; gentle warming and aromatic spiced koftas complemented by a mild gingery, slightly sweet curry sauce (by all means, if you like your dishes very hot, add more chillies!).

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These koftas are also easy to make. All you need is a blender to whizz everything together, chill the mixture for 15 mins, roll into balls, then bake or pan-fry. Who said eating healthily needed to be expensive or time-consuming?!


These koftas are meat-free and by using gluten-free oats, they are suitable for coeliacs. You can also substitute the black beans with other pulses like canned butter beans, green lentils or black-eyed beans. By using chia seeds as a binding agent, no eggs are required, making these koftas suitable for vegans.


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Fresh herbs (fresh parsley or coriander) and lemon zest add freshness and fragrance. To boost the protein content, I love adding protein powder (pea, soya bean and whey varieties work well); if you have run out, you can substitute for more oats or ground flaxseed.


These koftas and the accompanying curry sauce freeze well too. I love my curry sauce slightly on the chunky side (see photos), but if you like it more smooth, blend for a little longer.

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Feeds: 2-3 (depending on how hungry you are!)

Preparation time: 25 mins (plus 15 mins chilling time). If pan-frying: approx. 12 mins to cook, if baking, 18-20 mins at 170°C.


For the koftas:

  • 1 X 400g can of black beans (or beans of your choice)
  • 50g rolled oats (gluten-free if required)
  • ½ tsp Vitalising superpowder or ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • Large bunch or coriander or parsley (or a mixture of both); about 35g
  • 4 tbsp protein powder (soya bean, pea or whey)
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 red chilli (or more plus seeds if you like it hot!), roughly chopped


For the curry sauce: 

  • 2 medium red onions, peeled and chopped finely
  • 30g root ginger, peeled and chopped finely
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Vitalising superpowder or turmeric
  • 20g chia seeds or wholemeal flour (as a thickener)
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp tamari/ soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp protein powder (this makes the sauce creamier)

If pan frying, 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil


  • Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, except the red chilli (so you can see flecks of red in the koftas once cooked!). Whizz to combine well to form a thick paste.

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  • Transfer the mixture into a bowl and stir in the chopped chilli. Allow to set in the fridge for 15 mins (or freezer for 10 mins).

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  • While chilling, prepare the sauce.


  • Sauce. In a deep-bottomed pan, gently fry the chopped red onions for about 5 mins, until soft. Then add the chopped ginger and crushed garlic and cook for a further 5 mins.


  • Add the spices and cook for a further minute, until the spices give off their aroma, (take care to prevent the spices from burning, otherwise the sauce will taste bitter).


  • Stir in the thickening agent (chia seeds or wholemeal flour) and add the stock. Add the coconut sugar, tamari/ soya sauce and protein powder. Mix well. Heat for about 3 more mins then take off the heat.


  • Using a stick blender, whizz to the desired consistency. Set aside to serve with the koftas.

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  • Koftas. Roll the chilled mixture into small balls, about 2.5cm in size. These can be pan-fried on a low heat using a little coconut oil, for about 12 mins, turning each kofta halfway through. Alternatively, they can be baked in the oven at 170°C for 15-18 mins, again turning them halfway through.

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  • I love serving this with cauliflower coriander rice. (Simply sauté blitzed cauliflower and coriander and garlic for 5-10 mins). Enjoy!


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Don’t forget you can find my favourite recipes in my FREE eBook here.

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