A well-made curry is always right up my alley. And if it consists of legumes, then my day is made. Eaten with plain steamed or spiced vegetable laced pulao or even simple Indian breads, it is the ultimate comfort food for me.
I often serve this curry with a simple vegetable pulao. When a cooling cucumber based salad with yogurt is added, it makes for one of the most nutritionally balanced and satisfying meals for a vegetarian.
Black eyed peas are brimming with proteins, vitamins and minerals, making them ideal for growing children.
Many people are known to stay away from beans and legumes as they are difficult to digest. While this might be true for canned beans, if you stick to the more holistic way of soaking, cooking and using spices like ginger, cumin and asafetida you will most likely avert any problems of your body assimilating these nutritional powerhouses.
I grew up eating beans and legumes cooked in variety of different ways and I try to feed my four year old in a similar manner.
This curry is on the spicier side and complements the beans quite well. The spices could be modified to make this a milder curry if you prefer bland tastes. Team it up with simple accompaniments like rice or rotis and add a tall glass of spiced buttermilk to make a simple home made meal exciting by tickling your tastebuds and providing comfort to your soul.
Black Eyed Peas Curry Recipe
You can also substitute other legumes like chickpeas or other dried peas.
250 gm (1 1/4 cups) black eyed peas
3 cups (750 ml) water
1 bay leaf
seeds of 1 black cardamom
1" piece cinnamon stick
1 star anise
4 tsp coriander seed powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp fresh ginger
2 tbsp (or 3 tbsp if you want a rich gravy) oil
1/2 tsp asafetida
1 tsp roasted cumin seed powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
Wash and soak the black eyed peas in plenty of water overnight or for 6 to 8 hours. (With this particular legume I take the liberty of soaking 2 hours prior to cooking at times, but longer soaking time is recommended).
Pressure cook the peas with the water until tender, 10 to 15 minutes on low heat after the first whistle. If you have the patience or dont have a pressure cooker then cook the beans in a stock pot until tender, about 45 minutes to an hour.
In a blender put in all the spices and the spice powder and blend to a coarse powder. Put in the chopped tomatoes and ginger and blend to a smooth puree.
In a wok or kadhai, heat the oil, put in the asafetida, add the spiced tomato puree and cook till the oil separates from the tomatoes on medium low heat, stirring in between, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Put in the cooked black eyed peas and the cooking water and cook till the water is reduced and you get a gravy of the required consistency, about 15 to 20 minutes more or less depending on how thick or watery you want it to be.
Stir in the roasted cumin powder and salt and serve hot with rice or Indian breads.
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