Shout out to Nicole on this recipe! I bought dried black eyed peas and was so pleased to find in this recipe that, unlike my experience with black beans, cooking with black eyed peas from dried works out splendidly. I soaked them overnight and they were moist in the morning, so plump that I actually ate a few before cooking them.
This plate of Indian salads shown on Smitten Kitchen looked so appealing, I knew I had to try one. I had everything I needed for this recipe already in my house except for the tomato (I mean, really, why would I have a tomato just sitting in my house in February?!), so it made the most sense for a first attempt.
Black-Eyed Peas in a Spicy Goan Curry
Adapted from Ruta Kahate via SFGate.com, 6/8/07
Serves 4 to 6
1 cup dried black-eyed peas or two 15-ounce cans, drained
2 tablespoons, canola oil
1 small yellow onion, minced (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, finely ground
1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic (about 1 large clove)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated ginger (about a 1-inch piece)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (I always start with the half the suggested cayenne, and then decide if it needs more. Mine didn’t.)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, finely ground
1/4 cup minced tomato (1 small tomato)
2 cups (or 1 cup if using canned peas) hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste if using canned peas
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup canned coconut milk
2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
If using dried black-eyed peas, rinse and soak them in enough water to cover for 6 to 8 hours. Drain.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-low heat and saute the onion until it turns dark brown, about 8 minutes. Add the coriander, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne and cumin, and stir for 2 minutes. Add the tomato and stir over low heat until it disintegrates.
Add the peas and mix well. Pour in the hot water, if using, add the salt and sugar, and bring to a boil.
Turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer until the peas are cooked through, about 20 minutes. If using canned peas, simmer for only 10 minutes (it is essential to simmer the canned peas, too, so that all the flavors blend better). Stir in the coconut milk and simmer uncovered for another 8 to 10 minutes, again allowing the flavors to come together.
Add the cilantro and lemon juice, simmer for 1 minute more, and remove from heat. Serve hot.
The taste of this curry is wonderfully sharp, and it went well over brown rice. Also, it's vegan! Next time I might use a bit less additional water and see if it thickens up enough to stand one its own. In this version, I really felt like the rice was necessary to sop up all the curry juices. With less water, I could see it standing on a plate on its own, as shown in Smitten Kitchen.
Nicole, let's make the whole plate in New York!