Black eyed peas in coconut curry

Trying to make lentils or beans pretty is not very easy. These foods aren’t very photogenic so you’ll have to take my word on this one, and trust me that it really is delicious!

My family originates from the coastal region of southern India, so a lot of our food is made from seafood and coconut. We like to use coconut in both savory and sweet dishes. A lot of our meat dishes are flavored with coconut milk, and some of our appetizers are stuffed with a coconut based filling as well.

This recipe is traditionally made with fish, but since my husband doesn’t eat any fish, his mother taught me to add beans in here instead. When my mother in law (who is a fabulous cook btw) makes this for us she puts equal amounts of kidney, lima and black eyed beans. However, my kids only eat the back eyed peas, so I make it with the one type of bean. Both my 10 and 7 year old, like their dad, love this curry. It’s creamy, tangy and goes really well with white rice. My sister likes to tease that I’ve become a bean-fan thanks to my husband. Since I didn’t grow up eating much beans, this is still a bit of an adjustment for me, so sometimes I keep some curry aside and add fish to it instead.

Eat this curry hot with rice, and maybe some papad, and a side of fried fish or shrimp. You might just feel you’re in a gorgeous coastal location 🙂

Here’s the recipe for my mother-in law’s Black eyed peas in Coconut curry :

Ingredients :

1 cup Black eyed peas, soaked in 2 cups water for 3 hours

1/4 cup cooked onions

1 tomato, chopped

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut cream

1 tbsp each grated ginger and garlic

1 tsp fennel seeds

3 whole dried red chillies

8 curry leaves

1 tsp each cumin and coriander powder

1 tsp tamarind paste

1 tsp salt

Method :

1. Pressure cook the beans + water until cooked – about 12 minutes. IMG_20151211_0835313_rewind IMG_20151211_0837091_rewind


2. Heat a pot. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil, cooked onions, and tomato. Stir for five minutes on a medium-high flame until the tomato is soft.

3. In a blender add coconut milk, fennel seeds, chillies, and the onion+tomato mix. Pour in 1 cup water. Blend till smooth.IMG_20151211_0844303_rewind

4. Place the same pot on medium heat, put in 1 tbsp coconut oil, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, coriander, and cumin powder. Stir for a minute. Pour in the blended mix, tamarind and salt. Bring to boil.IMG_20151211_0849274_rewind IMG_20151211_0851570_rewind IMG_20151211_0859074_rewind

5. Add in the black eyed peas + its cooking water.  Bring to boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, garnish with curry leaves and serve hot.