garam masala

Indian inspired black-eyed pea curry

Indian inspired black-eyed pea curry

We’re constantly trying to add new legume-inspired recipes to our repertoire. After all, how can one be almost vegetarian without eating beans? I think, perhaps, that we don’t feature black-eyed peas as we should. Recently Steven made a delicious black-eyed peas and polenta dish. Every now and then I make a brown rice and black-eyed pea risotto that’s quite enjoyable. Black-eyed peas are delightful in croquettes, certainly. But all told, that’s only a few measly (albeit wonderful) ways of preparing something that’s so versatile, flavorful and nutritious.

So today’s inspiration comes from Indian cuisine. I’ve been following Manjula’s Kitchen for a while now and am blown away by the many creative ways she employs beans and pulses. This recipe is based on one from her blog. I made a few adaptations. We loved it.

the sunset on the night we enjoyed Indian inspired black-eyed pea curry

the sunset on the night we enjoyed Indian inspired black-eyed pea curry

Indian inspired black-eyed pea curry

2 cups dry black-eyed peas, rinsed and soaked in water for ½ hour then drained
1/8 tsp asafedida
2 tbsp canola oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
¾ tsp mango powder
¼ tsp garam masala
½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
Sea salt to taste

for the curry paste:

2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
½ tsp chili powder
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds partially removed
2 tbsp coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder

Add all ingredients for the curry paste to a food processor with a couple of tablespoons of water and whiz into a paste.

Add canola oil to pressure cooker. Bring temperature to high. Add cumin seeds and cook until aromatic, about a minute or so. Add asafetida followed by the curry paste. Cook on medium temperature until raw flavors are gone and oil floats on the surface of the curry paste. Toss in black eyed-peas with 3 cups of water. Cover pressure cooker, and when it starts whistling, turn temperature down and continue cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let pan cool down. Check for doneness. The beans should be soft. If not return pan to burner and cook a little longer.

Add tomatoes, salt, garam masala, mango powder and continue cooking, uncovered, just long enough to warm tomatoes through. Add cilantro, adjust salt and serve. We had this stew with a side of Japanese rice cooked Brazilian style.


I’ve been feeling like eating Indian food lately. There are a few great restaurants here in San Francisco for South Indian, like Dosa and Udupi Palace. However, whenever possible, I prefer making Indian food at home. This way I learn more about the cuisine and I can play with the ingredients that go into each dish.
Often, I’ll use less ghee or cream or even replace them with something else. We’re trying to eat less dairy lately. Adding things like edamame is also something that works well though I suspect that you won’t find that at an Indian restaurant.

spicy Indian-style cauliflower with edamame

I served this spicy cauliflower with okra edamame aloo mutter and cumin carrot basmati rice. The meal was delightful, flavorful and the leftovers; as is frequently the case, was even more incredible.

pan roasted cauliflower at rest

Spicy Indian-style Cauliflower with Edamame

1 head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 cup frozen edamame
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 onion, minced in food processor
3 ripe Roma tomatoes, skin removed, chopped
1 tsp fresh ground ginger
1 tsp fresh mashed garlic
1/8 tsp cayenne chili pepper
Kosher salt
Pinch garam masala
4 tbsp olive oil

cumin seeds make this dish pop!

Place 1 tbsp of oil in a hot skillet. Add cauliflower and cook on high, stirring occasionally until cauliflower browns a bit. Set aside. Add remaining oil to skillet. Add cumin seeds and toast a minute or so. Add onion and garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until raw smells are gone and the air gets permeated with a sweet onion aroma. Add tomatoes and cook until dissolved. Fold in cauliflower and garam masala. Salt to taste. Cook for another 10 minutes over very low heat. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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