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Vegan Snake Bean Vegetable & Tofu Curry

  • Author: Caroline Griffiths & Vicki Valsamis


Snake beans, the slightly heartier cousin of green beans, are the star of this dish. They are so named for their length and dark ends that could be mistaken for a snake’s head. If you happen to come across the more unusual wing beans with their ruffled frills, add a good handful to your curry near the end of the cooking time. 

A Madras curry mix or a French-style curry powder called vadouvan works well here. Serve with steamed rice or quinoa. –CG


  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil 
  • 300 g (10½ oz) firm tofu, cut into long rectangles about 2 cm (¾ in) wide 
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds 
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric 
  • 1 red onion, cut into thin wedges 
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated ginger 
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder 
  • 500 ml (2 cups) Vegetable stock 
  • 250 g (9 oz) pumpkin (squash), peeled, deseeded and cut into 4 cm (1½ inch) chunks 
  • 2 carrots, cut on the diagonal, into chunks 
  • 200 g (7 oz) cauliflower, cut into florets 
  • 300 g (10½ oz) snake (yard-long) beans, cut into 5 cm (2 in) lengths 
  • 250 ml (1 cup) coconut milk 
  • unsalted roasted cashews and pumpkin seeds, to serve 
  • handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), to serve


  1. Heat the peanut oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the tofu, mustard seeds and turmeric and cook, gently stirring occasionally, for 2–3 minutes, until the tofu is well coated and lightly browned. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside. 
  2. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2–3 minutes, or until just tender. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes, until fragrant. 
  3. Add a little of the stock and stir to deglaze the pan and loosen any tasty bits stuck to the bottom. Add the pumpkin, carrot and remaining stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the cauliflower and snake beans then cover again and cook for a further 8 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the coconut milk and return the tofu to the pan, resting it on top of the vegetable mixture. Cook for a final 5 minutes, or until the tofu is heated through and all the vegetables are tender. 
  5. Serve scattered with cashews, pumpkin seeds and coriander