Brrr… it’s getting chilly, grey and rainy here. No doubt about it any more, autumn has us firmly in its grasp. The infamous Scandinavian wind is acting up too, creating little tornadoes of rustling, multi-hued leaves…
And what do you do in cold weather when you are a spice fanatic like me? Make steaming pots of warming, tongue-tickling curries, of course!
While I absolutely adore meat curries, I also feel that vegetarian curries with their wonderful variety, lusciousness and health benefits do not get their due appreciation.
Punjab also has a fabulous variety of vegetarian food. Remember this divine Dal Makhani? This particular curry is made with Black-eyed peas, called Lobia in north India.
The cooked black-eyed peas have a soft buttery texture that melds so well with the spiced tomato gravy. It is literally one of those melt-in-your mouth dishes that is ridiculously flavorful and doesn’t take hours to out together.
You do need to soak the black-eyed peas overnight and pressure cook them (or you can buy cooked beans!) So a bit of planning is needed. I just soak the beans in the morning before I leave for work and they are all nice and plump when I get home.
Oh, and this lip-smacking curry pairs equally well with rice and flat-breads. Perfect for quick weeknight dinners. And did I mention all the health benefits that black-eyed peas provide: high fiber, high protein, potassium, iron…
I am taking an aromatic bowl full of this gorgeous curry over to Angie’s Friday Fiesta. It is being co-hosted by two amazing and inspirational bloggers today, Julianna @Foodie On Board and Hilda @Along The Grapevine. Do check out their amazing blogs and join me for the party!
Here’s the recipe.
Punjabi Lobia Masala (Black-eyed Peas Curry)
1 cup Black-eyed Peas
1 inch piece Ginger, finely chopped
5 Garlic flakes, finely chopped
1 large Red Onion, chopped
2 medium Tomatoes, chopped
1 Bay leaf
½ inch piece Cinnamon
1 Green Cardamom
2 teaspoons Coriander powder
½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
½ teaspoon Red Chilli powder
2 tablespoons Oil
½ cup chopped Cilantro
Salt to taste
Soak the black-eyed peas overnight or 4-5 hours with 3 cups water. Add more water if the peas seem to have absorbed all the water after a couple of hours.
Add the soaked peas to a pressure cooker along with the bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and 1/ teaspoon salt. Add 2 cups water and cook the peas for 4-5 whistles.
Once the pressure is released, check that the peas are cooked. They should mash easily when pressed between your fingers. Keep aside.
In a large saucepan, heat oil. Add the cumin seeds.
When they sizzle, add the onions.
Fry the onions till they become transparent.
Now add the chopped ginger and garlic. Fry till the raw smell of the ginger and garlic disappears.
Now add the powdered spices and saute for a minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes and half teaspoon salt and stir fry the mixture till the tomatoes become soft and the entire tomato-onion mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan.
Make sure to fry the mix on a low flame, stirring continuously.
Now add the cooked peas and mix well. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
Check seasoning and add more salt if needed.
Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot with rotis or rice.