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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Black-eyed Peas with freshly ground spices

It is said that eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day brings prosperity in the new year. Some believe it brings you good luck. I did make it couple days later. Hoping it still brings me and all my readers some prosperity and good luck. 

  • 2 cups dried Black-eyed peas /Lobiya/Chowli
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil
For the freshly ground Spice blend
  • 1 tblsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 4 whole dried red chillies
  • 1/2" cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves 
Dry roast all the above whole dry spices in a pan.Cool and grind in a food processor until well blended. I like my texture to be a bit coarse. Keep this spice blend aside.

  • Soak the dried black-eyed peas in about 5-6 cups water and keep it over night. If you are pressed for time as I was , I did the quick soak method. I heated 6 cups water in a pan and when it came to a rolling boil, got it off the flame and added the washed dried black eyed peas. Cover and keep this aside for about 30-40 minutes. In the time its soaking I had enough time to make my tomato puree and my spice blend.Now in a pressure cooker add the soaked black-eyed peas with the water. Add salt to taste and turmeric powder. Add 2 cups more water so that the black-eyed peas do not get burnt. Cook for 5-6 whistles or until the Black-eyed peas are tender. Take it off the heat and keep it aside. 
  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan or Kadai. Add the tomato puree and let it cook on medium flame for about 3-4 minutes. Stir from time to time. Soon the oil will separate which indicates the puree is cooked. Add your freshly ground spices. Mix it well. Add the cooked Black-eyed peas along with the cooking liquid into the pan. Mix it well. Adjust the salt. (If you are planning to serve this with rice, I do add about 1-2 cups water at this point and then bring it to a boil.) Cover and cook on low heat for about 7-8 minutes. 
  •  Black-eyed peas with freshly ground spices is ready to be served. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve it with cumin rice or plain rice. Goes well with hot phulkas/roti/chapati (Indian flat bread) as well. This recipes serves 6-8. If you happen to have leftovers , it tastes just as good. Especially on a cold wintry day, just enjoy a warm bowl of this Spicy black-eyed peas with some chopped red onions, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and some freshly squeezed lemon juice.