Savory Black-Eyed Peas

Black-Eyed Peas (Photo by dejahthoris/flickr)

Serves 4-6.


375 g/12 oz/11/2 cups black-eyed peas
2 cassia leaves (tej pattar)
3 cardamom pods, bruised
2 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 fresh red chillies
or 1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
125 ml/4 fl oz/1/2 cup natural yogurt
2 teaspoons rice flour
1 teaspoon garam masala
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander


Rinse the peas and soak overnight in cold water, or bring to the boil, turn off heat, cover and soak for 2 hours. Drain, cover with fresh water and add the cassia leaves, cardamom pods, garlic cloves and turmeric. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 35 minutes or until almost tender. Drain, reserving liquid.

Heat ghee and on low heat cook the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies until onions are soft and start to turn golden. Add the cumin and salt, the drained peas and 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the peas are quite tender and the sauce thick. Mix the yoghurt and rice flour with about 3 tablespoons of remaining soaking liquid, stir into the peas and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the garam masala and sprinkle with the fresh coriander. Serve with chapatis, parathas or rice.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)