Home > All recipes, main courses, pot-luck > Curry of Black Eyed Peas

Curry of Black Eyed Peas


Like so many of the food obsessed, I received a smorgasbord of cookbooks for Christmas. The problem is that I am now resisting the temptation to cook Pierre Hermes decadent chocolate desserts and all kinds of fatty delights concocted by the likes of  Dorie Greenspan and Thomas Keller pretty much every day. I read cookbooks cover to cover – and since I have not managed to read even a single novel since Ollie was born – recipes are the perfect length to peruse whenever I have a free moment. Which is never. But still – where there is a will (or a new, glossy pictured, recipe packed cookbook) there is a way.

So in the quest for something healthy and not too pricey to start the holiday recovery period I started with Anjum’s New Indian – a book full of “easy” Indian recipes (a phrase I used to be convinced was an oxymoron). This inspired what my family now refers to as curry week – I just can’t help getting stuck when I find a cookbook I love. I started with a fish curry that I was planning to post – until I made this one the next day and both my husband and I were sold hook, line and sinker. There are not any process pics as I was not planning to post it – I just took pictures of the leftovers the next morning so they don’t entirely do it justice. It is not flashy and probably will not impress company unless served as part of a larger Indian meal – but for us it is perfect for a weekday dinner when paired with just a bit of basmati rice and some (in my case homemade) plain yogurt. Or go wild, crack a bottle of red and slice some avacado on the side.

So this turned out awesome the first time – even with me only half measuring and not really following the instructions all that well. I only made one real mistake – I added the liquids and beans before the oil had come out of the masala, or sauce, which meant I did not get quite as nice a presentation. This is crucial for a whole range of curries so ensure that you wait until you can see the sauce separate as directed.

I love tomatoes – and instead of using canned tomatoes have bags of premeasured 1/2 cup portions of crushed tomatoes in my freezer from the fall tomato bonanza. I just use these instead of fresh tomatoes – and they still have that summer tomato flavour that the tomatoes at this time of year are missing. Plus they are super convenient for curries because I can add them by the 1/2 cup. For most normal people, who do not impulse buy 50lbs of late summer tomatoes when they find them on sale despite having a relatively prolific garden, crushed fresh or canned tomatoes work fine.

A note about cilantro  – my husband hates it but never complains in curries as I think he either does not notice due to all the other tastes – or secretly likes it in curry. It is worth adding.

Mom-O-Meter 4.5/5

Easy, cheap and healthy: a trifecta pretty much anyone can get excited about – especially us new moms. This curry probably costs about 2-3$ as long as your Indian spices are stocked (and once they are stocked you will use them over and over again). The fresh cilantro needs to be purchased unless it is in your garden- but the rest can be straight from your cupboard. It is easy as far as curries go – but as with most curries there are still a number of spices and steps. There are not many dishes as long as you use jarred pureed ginger and garlic – a flavour sacrifice I am willing to make considering all the other spices in this dish. The only thing – I would double the recipe and make more as it does not make much but keeps well and would double easily. Oh – and if you like curry – invest in a rice cooker. I found one at Canadian Tire for 15$ and while I despise unneccessary kitchen gadgets – it makes cooking rice a snap as it turns off automatically and makes pretty much every type of rice perfectly.

Curry of Black Eyed Peas – Adapted from Anjum’s New Indian

4 tsp vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
2 tsp cumin seeds (I added fennel seeds instead and a bit of cumin with the other dried spices)
2 green chiles (I did not use these as I had none- instead adding some dried persian lime or kaffir lime leaves from my pantry. I highly recommend the lime. )
1 onion
1-2 tsp of pureed ginger
2 tsp pureed garlic
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp chile powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala ( an indian spice blend that is worth buying as it is used in so many curries)
pinch of salt
3 large tomatoes or about 1.5 cups mashed tomato
1 can of black-eyed peas or 2 cups of cooked and rinsed peas
chopped cilantro to taste

* serve with basmati rice and plain yogurt

Heat oil and add bay leaves, followed directly by cumin (or fennel) seeds. Once they sizzle throw in the chopped onion and green chiles or dried lime/lime leaves. Cook until onion is browned.

Add garlic, ginger and a splash of water and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add powdered spices and cook for 30 seconds before adding the tomatoes and cooking for around 15 minutes or until the oil comes out of the masala (you will see it on the top of the sauce). Add the beans, let them cook for a minute or two in the sauce, and then add a cup of water and simmer for around 10 minutes.

Take a few tablespoons of beans out of the mix and mash with a fork – returning them to the pot after to thicken the sauce.

Ollie waiting patiently for his dinner in his new portable cloth chair cover. It was in the batch of photos from this posting and was too cute so I just had to post it:)

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  1. January 8, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    this looks great, I’m going to try it in the next few days,,,Imagination rules the (blog) world.
    thanks,,,M

    • January 9, 2011 at 8:52 am

      Thanks Micheal – wish it was my idea. Since you live near Mville you can get these little tins of dried persian lime at Mrs. Mcgarrigle’s. They will rock your world if you have not tried them : I use them in this curry but they are great on fajitas and in lots of other dishes too.

  1. May 13, 2011 at 6:50 pm

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