Help Cleaning Shop & Spicy Black Eyed Peas

April 7, 2010

spicy black eyed peas
I just cleaned out my pantry.  It was a toss up between catching a nap with Surya or cleaning the pantry.  But this article from The Kitchn.com inspired me.  Or scared me.  So, no napping.  Cleaning.  As for the items that survived, I resolved to start working my way through them one at a time.

First up, some beautiful dried black eyed peas.  Smooth tan exteriors with symmetrical black moons.  Nutty, soft white insides.  Low in fat and sodium, no cholesterol, high in potassium, iron and fiber and protein.  And a creamy addition to Indian food to boot.  How could I let these go to waste?

I wanted something quicker and lighter than this creamy Black Eyed Peas and Potato curry.  A few hundred Hoppin’ John recipes later, I came across this post from Smitten Kitchen and a link to this Black Eyed Peas in Spicy Goan Curry in the San Francisco Chronicle.  Spicy enough to satisfy my Indian hankering but light and fresh enough to not overwhelm on a hot day like the ones we’ve  been having in New York.


Spicy Black Eyed Peas

~About 8 servings~

~Adapted from Ruta Kahata~

I left out the coconut milk from Ruta’s recipe because I wanted a lighter, tomato-y broth.  We didn’t miss the coconut milk, but if you want to add it in, Ruta’s recipe calls for it after 6 below followed by an additional 8-10 minutes of uncovered simmering.  The recipe calls for a touch of sugar, but you can’t taste any sweetness in the end.  I imagine it just enhances the light, naturally sweet and tangy tomato broth.

1 cup dried black-eyed peas or two 15-ounce cans, drained
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon grated garlic (about 1 large clove)
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger (about a 1-inch piece)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tomato, finely chopped
2 cups (or 1 cup if using canned peas) hot water
Salt to taste (I used about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Handful cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. If using dried black eyed peas, rinse and soak them overnight in enough water to cover.

2. In a stock pot or deep saucepan, heat cooking oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for about 8-10 minutes until the onions brown.

3. Add the coriander powder, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne and cumin powder and cook for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes and cook until they melt.

5. Mix in the peas.  Add the water, sugar, salt and cilantro and bring to a boil.

6. After you’ve brought the curry to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30-40 minutes until the peas are tender (not falling apart).  Ruta recommends simmering dried peas for 20 minutes (I found it required more time) and canned peas for 10 minutes).

7. Add the lemon juice and simmer for another minute or so.

Serve with roti or basmati rice.

My pantry cleaning also left me with a a “few” other things…I could use some help figuring out how to use them up:

  • King Arthur Unbleached Whole Wheat Flour – just used some to make these addictive chewy chocolate chip cookies
  • Poha, flattened rice – any ideas other than Aloo Poha (love it but wondering what else you can do with it)
  • Red lentils
  • Moong daal skinned and whole*
  • Moong daal unskinned and split*
  • Moong daal unskinned and whole*
  • Lupini beans
  • Suji (semolina) – I normally use this for upama but other use would be great!
  • Cracked wheat

Any suggestions?

*My rat pack approach to pantry stocking is not to blame for the many varieties of moong beans. I think my mom bought all of them while I was in a post-partum fog.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

lalitha April 7, 2010 at 11:14 pm

looks great – will definitely try it out soon! btw, your pantry inventory sounds very similar to mine (many varieties of daal and all!), so i am looking forward to new ways to use those ingredients as well!

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apu April 8, 2010 at 12:22 am

Nice one, Nithya. Black-eyed peas (I think these are the same what we call ‘lobia’) are among my favourites though I don’t make them that often due to the pre-soaking routine – I tend to forget! I find that doing your step 6 in a pressure cooker speeds up the process considerably. Honestly, I don’t know how people have the patience to cook any daal without a pressure cooker 🙂

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Vichika April 8, 2010 at 12:26 am

I love reading hungrydesi! and congratulations on Surya, i am sure you are having loads of fun with her. My to-use list is similar to yours. Not new, but here is what I did with my pantry stock (usual gult recipes): Poha- 1. Atukula Pulihora (tamarind/lemon flattened rice): recipe is same as usual tamarind/lemon rice, with poha instead of the traditional sona masoori; it’s quicker, lighter and as tasty as tamarind/lemon rice. 2. Chivda : dry roasted poha, peanuts, curry leaves and dry red chillies and added some chaat masala and coconut pieces; was a good company to our filter coffee 🙂
Moong Daal (Unskinned, spilt/whole) – Pesarattu (moong daal dosa): 1 tbsp rice+1 tsp chana daal for 1 cup of moong daal, soak overnight for dosa batter; usual sides: ginger chutney+upma.
Suji – Rava Dosa – 1c suji + 1c rice flour + 1/2c maida + cumin seeds + hing + salt + pepper; instant batter, it’s made to the consistency of butter milk, just pour the batter on your skillet and don’t even have to be worry about spreading it evenly, the batter takes a little longer than usual dosa to turn brown, so no worries about burning the dosa; i love making it. check out vahchef’s youtube video for details. Enjoy!

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apu April 9, 2010 at 1:44 am

And oh, the whole moong dal – pesarattu that Vichika has mentioned is a good idea, as is using it for sprouts. Suji – you could use it for kesari/halwa.

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Mona April 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm

I have lots of dried black-eyed peas lying in the refrigerator too. Have to use that up. Your recipe looks and sounds good!

For Masoor dal/Red lentils, I suggest you make ‘Khadi Dal’ using it, the recipe is on my blog.

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nithya April 14, 2010 at 9:14 am

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I’m excited to try all of these new dishes AND get rid of my pantry items at the same time. Yayyyyy!

@Vichika – my parents and I love the vahchef’s videos! Thanks.

@apu – I’m not so great about pre-soaking either. I usually use the pressure cooker, but to be honest, it scares me a little! I always feel like I need to duck and run when it whistles. Of course, I still use it. And do sometimes duck and run. I actually soaked then boiled another cup of the black eyed peas, drained them and put them in a freezer bag to use later. Going to see how that works out. Not sure if it will change the texture.

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duni June 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm

I always use the frozen black eyed peas. Get them in any supermarkets. Sure beats soaking and boiling them for a long time. They cook fast.

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Georgia June 22, 2010 at 9:45 pm

YUM! I just made this tonight. Thank you so much for the recipe; it was delicious. I just soaked my beans while I was at work and they were ready to go when I got home; they didn’t take any time to cook – maybe 20 minutes and I think they were a little over done.

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nithya June 22, 2010 at 9:56 pm

@Georgia, glad that you liked it! Thanks for letting me know it turned out well.

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Georgia June 23, 2010 at 12:25 am

It really did! You may want to edit in the onions – you left them out of the ingredients – but that’s easy to remedy by visiting Ruta’s recipe. Now if I can just get my desi friend to try these peas…he says he doesn’t like black eyed pea curry – hopefully your recipe can change his mind! Thanks again.

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Laura January 15, 2012 at 11:50 am

This was delicious! I usually cook black eyed peas with lots of tomatoes/onions/garlic/cumin/lemon and I was getting kind of bored with that–this was a little different because of the ginger/turmeric/coriander and being lighter on the tomatoes.

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