The scientific name of Adzuki beans is Vigna angularis, and they grow annually. It is also called adzuki or aduki. The name adzuki comes from the Japanese language, although the pronunciation often sounds like “azuki”. These beans are primarily red in color, but white, black, and mottled cultivars can also be found in certain areas. They are small beans which is grown in East Asia and the Himalayas. They come in a number of color and varieties.
The health benefits of adzuki beans include their ability to aid in weight loss, prevent and manage diabetes, optimize digestion, contribute to growth and repair, increase energy, lower blood pressure, reduce birth defects in infants, and detoxify the body.
Adzuki beans regulate blood sugar levels, prevents diabetes symptoms and manages diabetes.
Growth & Repair
Adzuki beans contain proteins which boosts energy, helps to create new cells and tissues and helps in proper growth and repair of the body.
Adzuki beans contain molybdenum which is not found in many foods. It helps to detoxify the body.
Prevention of Birth Defects
Adzuki beans contain folic acid and vitamin B which helps to prevent birth defects, neural tube defects in unborn babies.
Better Bone Health
Adzuki beans contain zinc, copper and magnesium which boosts bone strength and prevents bone mineralization.
Can Improve Digestion
Adzuki beans contain soluble fiber which improves gut health and digestion.
Can Help You Lose Weight
Adzuki beans contain protein and fiber which helps you feel full, reduces hunger and helps to lose weight.
May Improve Heart Health
Adzuki beans contain antioxidant which lowers LDL cholesterol levels, lowers high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.
May help you live longer
Adzuki beans contain low amounts of amino acid methionine which is said to be increase in lifespan.
Up Muscle Mass
Assuming beans contain proteins which helps to build muscle mass.
Adzuki beans can be eaten at any time of day. They goes well with every food item.
Ways to use adzuki beans
- Put the beans in a strainer and rinse under cold water.
- Pick out all the deformed beans and stray particles.
- Place the beans into a large pot, cover with several inches of water and soak for eight hours.
- Drain the beans and refill the pot with at least three times more water than beans.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 45–60 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
- Use the boiled beans immediately or refrigerate for use within 3–5 days. The beans will also hold in the freezer for up to eight months
How to buy and store adzuki beans
Buy adzuki brand that are in their dry and uncooked form. Avoid buying any beans that contain sweeteners.
Season in which adzuki beans are available
Adzuki beans are available all year round.
How to make Adzuki beans curry
1 cup of Adzuki beans
2 tomatoes finely chopped
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp garam masala powder
black pepper powder or red chili powder as per your spice level
pinch of turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
chopped cilantro for garnish
Option 1: Wash and soak beans in 3 cups of water for 6 hrs and pressure cook for 4 whistles.
Option 2: Wash and cook beans in 3 cups of water in pressure cooker for 9 whistles.
Once cooker is cooled remove strain beans and keep the water aside(do not discard any excess water) and use potato masher and mash beans coarsely.
In a stock pot add oil, once oil is hot add bay leaf, cloves, ginger garlic paste and onions. Add salt this will help onions to cook faster. Once onions turn golden color add chopped tomatoes, garam masala powder, black pepper, sugar and turmeric powder. Once onions and tomatoes cooked in spices add cooked beans and the beans water. Cook for 10 more minutes and adjust spices.(If needed add more water) . Remove from heat and add lemon juice and mix well. Nutritious curry is ready to be served. Garnish with cilantro and serve with hot rice or roti.
How to make Curried Coconut Adzuki Beans.
For the rice:
1 cup white basmati rice
1 1/3 cup water
Soak the rice in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. Drain.
Combine the rice with water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and turn the heat down to very low. Cook for 25 minutes. Don’t open the lid.
Remove from heat and and let the rice sit for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving.
For the beans:
2/3 cup adzuki beans, soaked overnight and drained
3 cups water
Pinch of hing (aka asafoetida)
1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1″ piece of ginger, grated or finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup coconut milk
Fresh lemon or lime
Himalayan salt (or sea salt) to taste
A handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Combine the beans with 3 cups of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to medium low and cover partially. Add the hing. Simmer for about minutes or until the beans are 2/3 of the way cooked (cooking time depends how old the beans are and how long they’ve been soaking).
Heat the ghee or oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and saute for several minutes until the onions are soft.
Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and curry powder and saute for 30 seconds.
Pour this mixture into the beans. Cook for another 10-20 minutes, or until the beans are soft.
Add the coconut milk, a few squeezes of lemon or lime, and salt to taste. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve over a scoop of rice.
Safety profile for using adzuki beans
The most common side effect of adzuki beans it produces gas and it can be hard to digest for some people.
Fun facts about adzuki beans
- According to genetic evidence, the adzuki bean was first cultivated in East Asia and later was crossbred with native species in the Himalayas.
- The earliest known archaeological evidence of the bean comes from Japan around 4000 B.C. In China and Korea, adzuki bean specimens from ruins date from 3000 to 1000 B.C., which are believed to be cultivated ones.
- In East Asian cuisine, the adzuki bean is commonly sweetened before eating. In particular, it often is boiled with sugar, resulting in red bean paste, a very common ingredient in all of these cuisines. It also is common to add flavoring to the bean paste, such as chestnut. Red bean paste made from adzuki beans is used in a variety of Asian dishes.
- Some Asian cultures enjoy red bean paste as a filling or topping for various kinds of waffles, pastries, baked buns or biscuits.