Black Eyed Peas (Lobia)

It’s that time of the year when I often go back to my comfort food – a bowl of warm bean dish made with a combination of root or leafy green vegetables along with herbs and spices present in my kitchen. The whole beans we consume today come in various forms and are present not only in soups, stews, burgers, casseroles and vegetarian chili but also in sprouts, salads and dips. Our grandmothers used them in a creative fashion throughout the kitchen in various recipes and I try to carry on in that tradition. Beans are great any time of the year, especially when cooked with a combination of leafy and seasonal root vegetables, particularly available in the winter months. It may be prepared as a vegetarian or non-vegetarian hearty soup almost resembling the texture of vegetarian chili. I prepare them with a variety of spice blends and herbs common in my kitchen but because I tend to be fairly flexible in terms of what I use, it would be difficult to list them individually here in the recipe.

The recipe given below brings back the fond memories of my visit to my sister’s place in Uttarakhand, India.

Black Eyed Peas (Lobia)
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic-ginger paste
1 tablespoon curry powder and 1 bay leaf
1/2 tablespoon salt or to taste
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1) Check black-eyed peas for small stones and soil particles. Wash black-eyed peas and cover with enough cold water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse thoroughly.
2) In a heavy-bottomed four-quart saucepan or Dutch oven heat oil and cook onion until translucent. Add the remaining ingredients except tomatoes and garam masala. Add enough water or approximately 2 to 3 cups water to cover the black-eyed peas and bring to a full boil.
3) Cover and reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 40 to 50 minutes or until black-eyed peas are fork tender. Add tomatoes and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Add more water to adjust the consistency as needed (the consistency of the dish really depends upon how it is going to be served). Mix garam masala and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with chopped onion, coriander leaves, green chilies, lemon wedges and chutney on the side. Before serving allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes so that the flavors have a chance to blend. Garnish and serve over plain rice or with chapati. Yield: approximately 8-10 servings.

Note: If using a pressure cooker, all the ingredients can be added after sautéing onion except garam masala. Follow the instruction contained in your pressure cooker manual for cooking the whole beans.

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One Comment on “Black Eyed Peas (Lobia)”

  1. spice oils Says:

    I have large black eyes, framed by black eyebrows and my hair colour is many shades of dark brown..


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