Hello and Welcome to This Spicy Life…
Today’s menu features the humble black-eyed pea and is dedicated to our old friends Sri P., Sri S., Akash V., Ram S. and Ganesh K. 🙂 Black-eyed peas are kind of a joke in our house (except when they are shown all due reverence on New Year’s Day – I never miss that tradition). When my husband (then-boyfriend) and I were just starting out in Columbia, SC, we had a close group of friends who would hang out and take turns cooking dinner. We were all novice cooks but everyone seemed to enjoy it. Money was also tight for some of us so we would eat black-eyed peas A LOT. And black beans. And kidney beans. And black-eyed peas again… you get the picture. Though it was always super tasty and we have fond memories of it, we still have to laugh about coming in the kitchen to see someone opening 4 cans of black-eyed peas and looking a little sheepish!
So here is my version: Simple Curry of Black-Eyed Peas and a quick Carrot Salad. Hope you enjoy!
Simple Curry of Black-Eyed Peas
- 3 tsp oil for sautéing
- 1-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced or grated on a fine grater
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp chili powder (or to taste) or 1 green chili, chopped (optional)
- 1/2 tsp coriander seed powder
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped (use fresh or canned)
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 2 cups black-eyed peas, cooked (use dried cooked or canned or frozen)
- 1- 1/2 tsp garam masala
Heat the oil over medium heat and add the cumin seeds. When they start to change color (about 30 – 60 seconds), stir in the onion. Allow it to cook until it becomes transparent and starts to brown at the edges. Add the garlic and stir around to cook a little more. You can add a little more oil if needed. Now add the ginger, turmeric, chili powder and coriander and cook for a minute while stirring. Add the chopped tomatoes and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the tomatoes start to thicken and breakdown, add 1/2 cup of water, tomato paste and the salt. Let simmer for 5 minutes. If it seems too thick add a little more water along with the black-eyed peas and garam masala. Stir and check the salt level. Let simmer for at least 3 minutes so the black-eyed peas are heated through. Serve with rice.
Carrot Salad with Mustard Seeds and Peanuts
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 3 tbsp onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 green chili, finely chopped (or to taste, optional)
- 1 or 2 tbsp lemon juice (to taste)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 curry leaves (optional)
- 2 tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
Place the carrots, onion, salt, chili (if using), lemon juice and cilantro in a bowl and set aside.
Heat the oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves (if using). Heat until the mustard seeds start to pop and remove from heat. When it cools slightly, pour over the carrot mixture.
Mix everything in the bowl and sprinkle with the peanuts (if using) right before serving.