Weekday meals can often be a challenge when the main objective is to get something on the table rather quickly. As much as I enjoy cooking and trying out more complicated preparations, there are times when a simple and comforting curry is just what is required.
This dish comes together in hardly anytime at all. While the beans are boiling, prep the rest of the ingredients. It’s delicious served up with a bed of hot rice. That’s all you need for a balanced and wholesome meal.
Black-Eyed Pea Curry
- 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and soaked overnight in enough water to cover
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- 2 – 3 hot chilies, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- few handfuls of dried curry leaves, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon [highlight]garam masala[/highlight]
- dash of asafetida (optional)
- juice from one lemon
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Drain the beans, rinse and transfer to a medium-large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender but not breaking apart – about 40 – 50 minutes. When the beans are done, drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium-large pot over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds to the pot and fry, stirring often, until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Add the onion to the pan and fry, stirring often, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Toss in the ginger and hot chilies and stir and fry for another minute or so. Add the turmeric, coriander, paprika and cayenne and stir and fry for a minute until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes and curry leaves to the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are softened and begin to thicken up, roughly 10 – 15 minutes.
Stir in the black-eyed peas, garam masala, asafetida (if using), lemon juice and salt. Simmer for another 5 minutes and serve hot with a steaming hot bed of buttered rice and / or your favorite Indian flatbread such as [highlight]Sweet Potato Roti[/highlight].