Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Easy Vegan Black Eyed Peas curry- Maharashtrian style Chawli/Lobia curry. With Stepwise Pictures

The other day I was on the phone with my sister in law Anu and she mentioned that she makes a Maharashtrian curry with vaal that she learned from her Maharashtrian neighbor. When she ran through the ingredient list I was intrigued, the curry and the gravy sounded very unusual, nothing like the onion tomato based gravies that are used in most curries. I was very curious about how this curry would taste and wanted to try it immediately.

Since R has been on a "I am not too keen on vaal" phase for a while now,  I decided to try the same kind of gravy but with black eyed peas. I made it that same evening and loved the taste and the gravy of this curry. This has to be one of the most super easy curries I have ever made, and it tastes yum. It is perfect for a weeknight dinner, can be served with some phulkas/ chapathis (Indian flat bread) or with some plain steamed rice.

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Black eyed peas curry
1 and 1/2 cups of dry black eyed peas soaked for 6 to 8 hours (see notes)
2 to 3 tsp coconut oil (or any other flavorless oil)
3/4 tsp mustard seeds (rai/kadagu)
3/4 tsp cumin seeds (jeera/jeeragam)
a pinch of asafoetida powder (hing/perungayam) (optional)
a sprig of curry leaves (about 8 to 10 leaves) torn into smaller pieces
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi/manjal podi)
salt to taste 

Grind together (Masala paste 1)
1 tsp chopped ginger
3 Thai or Indian variety green chilies (or to taste)
1 dry red chili (optional)

Grind together ( Masala paste 2)
1/3 cup freshly grated coconut (or frozen thawed to room temperature) (nariyal/thengai poo)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera/jeeragam)

3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro (coriander leaves/hara dhania/kothamalli) for garnish

Soak black eyed peas/ chawli in sufficient water for about 6 to 8 hours. Drain water, fill with fresh water and cook in the pressure cooker until soft. Alternatively add the soaked beans with fresh water to a heavy bottomed pan, place on the stove and cook, adding water as required until soft. Keep cooked peas aside.

Grind ginger and green chilies to a fine paste and keep aside.

Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan on medium heat. Add mustard seeds to this, when the seeds begin to splutter, add cumin seeds. When the cumin sizzles, add a pinch of asafoetida powder, curry leaves and stir quickly once or twice.

Add cooked black eyed peas, salt to taste, turmeric powder and the ground ginger chili paste. Add water if required and allow this mixture to simmer for a few minutes for the flavors to mingle.

In the meanwhile grind coconut and cumin seeds to a smooth paste and keep aside.

Add ground coconut paste to the simmering curry and simmer another couple of minutes.

Finally garnish with cilantro. Remove from heat and serve hot with phulkas/ chapathis/ Indian or any other kind of flat bread or with plain steamed rice.

If you have frozen black eyed peas you can thaw and use them in this recipes as well. 1 cup of dry black eyed peas gives you about 3 cups of cooked peas, so in this recipe that would mean about 4 and 1/2 cups of frozen/cooked black eyed peas. 

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