Sunday, May 20, 2012

Black eyed pea curry with yogurt and tomatoes

Black eyed peas are commonly eaten in India and Pakistan. However there are other parts of the world where they are eaten as well and have special significance. In the southeastern parts of the United States, Hoppin John made with black eyed peas is eaten on New Years day to bring good luck and prosperity for the rest of the year. This tradition is generally believed to date back to the Civil war . In Vietnam it is eaten in a dessert with coconut milk and sticky rice. Portugal, Greece and Africa have their specialties with black eyed peas as well.

I slow cook dried soaked beans instead of using canned beans, since it picks up a lot more flavor while it is cooking for a long time with the spices. Usually I add the cooked beans to a curry made with onions and tomatoes but today I made it a little more special and added some yogurt to the dish to give it another layer of flavor and the yogurt helps to create a silky sauce. The addition of cardamom and clove gives the curry a fragrant aroma. This curry freezes very well - hence feel free to double the quantity.

Black eyed pea curry with yogurt and tomatoes

1 cup dried black eyed peas (soaked overnight with 3 cups water)
½ inch piece of ginger grated
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons canola oil
1 green cardamom
1 dry bay leaf
1 clove
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
1 medium plum tomato, finely chopped
½ cup plain yogurt
1 green chili, finely chopped

  1. In a 3 quart pot, add the soaked and drained beans, 2 cups water, grated ginger, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and salt and cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, heat a 8 inch skillet with canola oil and add the cardamom, clove and bay leaf. Sauté for 30 seconds and add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook the onion and garlic mixture over medium heat for about 5 minutes till the onions have softened and turned light brown.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and continue to cook for 5 more minutes till the tomatoes have broken down to mush.
  4. Add the chopped green chili (remove the seeds if you want to tone down the heat) and the yogurt a tablespoon at a time incorporating it into the tomato onion sauce. Continue to cook the yogurt sauce for about 6 minutes till the mixture is no longer white and the oil leaves the sides of the pan.
  5. After the beans have cooked for 30 minutes, add the tomato yogurt sauce to the beans and ½ cup water and continue to cook the beans for 10 more minutes at a medium low heat. Now add another ½ cup water as the mixture will begin to look dry and cook for another 10 minutes. Finally add ½ cup water and cook for the final 5 minutes. By now the beans should be soft but not mushy. Taste for seasoning. Serve with chapati, naan, or pita and a dry vegetable dish.
Serves 4

No comments:

Post a Comment