Friday, September 20, 2013

Black-eyed Peas Curry (Lobia/Karamani)

I recently made black-eyed peas for a colleague who had just had a baby, along with some jeera pulav, baby potatoes and bell peppers, cauliflower curry, and kachumber (Indian-style salad).  She kept raving about how wholesome the meal was and how if she had vegetarian food like this, she won’t even miss eating meat.

Black-eyed Peas Curry

While cleaning my pantry this past weekend, I found a big packet of black-eyed peas along with other beans. So, when my friend asked me to post a recipe with black-eyed peas, I had no problems.  I don’t make these as often as I make cholé or rajma – mainly because it is not a staple in my pantry.  I have to remember to buy it (and looks like after I remember to buy it, I forget that I have it in my pantry!). 

I make some kind of dal (lentil) or beans at least once a week.  My younger son likes it when I make dals/beans that hold their shape.  So if I say I have made dal for dinner, he will want to know if it is the mushy kind or the beany kind :)

Here is what you need:

(serves four easily)

  • 1½ cups black-eyed peas, soaked for at least 4 hours (see note)
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. hing (asafetida)
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ of a medium onion, chopped
  • few curry leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1” piece ginger, slivered
  • 3 green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 1 roma tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp. rasam powder
  • generous amount of cilantro (maybe about 1/3 cup)

Here is how I made it:

  1. Drain the water from the soaked peas, add more water to cover it and cook with salt, hing, and turmeric in a pressure cooker, until done.  Since these beans cook very quickly, I cook it on low for about five minutes after the first whistle, and then turn it off.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan and add mustard and cumin seeds.
  3. When the mustard seeds sputter, add the onions and curry leaves. Sauté for a few minutes.
  4. Add garlic and ginger.  Sauté for a few more minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes.  If your tomatoes are juicy, just cover the pan and cook on low heat for a bit, if they are not, sprinkle some water and then cover and cook till the whole thing gets pulpy, and the tomatoes have lost their shape.
  6. Add rasam powder and fry for a couple of minutes.  If you don’t have rasam powder, add ½ teaspoon each of chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and crushed pepper.
  7. Add the cooked peas with enough water to this pan.  Check the seasoning, and let this whole thing simmer for about 10 minutes till the peas have absorbed all the flavors.
  8. Add the cilantro and turn off the stove.

Serve with rice or rotis.  I like to eat this more like a soup.  I take a tiny bit of rice in a big bowl, ladle a generous portion of the black-eyed peas on top, and garnish with slivered green chilies and onions and eat it like a soup.  It tastes delicious.

Note:  This is a great crock-pot recipe.  If you like, you can place the dry black-eyed peas in a crock pot with enough water and cook it on low for about 4 – 6 hours, till the peas are tender.  Then follow the steps to make the masala.  Add the tomato masala to the peas, and let it simmer in the crock pot for at least an hour.

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