As mentioned in last week’s Foodie Friday post, I spent New Year’s Day doing what I love; cooking and eating some amazing food from my new cookbook, Curry Easy Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey. That lady is pure genius and I thank her again for such a wonderful book.
I made three dishes in total (1) Roasted Aubergine & Tomato, the recipe which I already shared with you, (2) Chana Dal with Spinach & Tomato, the recipe will follow next week, and (3) this wonderful Black-eyed pea dish.
As you would imagine, the fresh chillies give it a real kick and the coriander and tomato provide a wonderful, clean flavour. The heat of this curry worked well with the chutney and also the calmer, buttery flavour of the dal.
Two dishes cooked and two big ticks from me. Fantastic! Don’t take my word for it, give them a try.
Black-eyed Peas with Coriander & Green Chillies – serves 2 as a main dish served with rice, preparation 10 minutes, cooking time 30 minutes (if using canned black-eyed peas).
I cook my curries in advance of eating them so that the flavours can really come out. If serving as an evening meal, I like to make them that morning or even the night before.
- 1 can black-eyed peas, well rinsed (you can use dried, but they need to be washed and soaked overnight)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 45g fresh coriander, chopped
- 2-4 fresh hot green chilli, chopped (I opted for 3 as the ones I have are very hot)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp olive oil or peanut oil (I didn’t have peanut and went with my trusted olive oil)
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp ground cumin if you can’t get the whole seeds)
- 1 dried hot chilli (or 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes if you don’t have whole chilli)
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced in to fine half-rings
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped (the recipe actually calls for a generous pinch of asafoetida, which unfortunately I had no chance of finding in Barbados, so I substituted this with garlic – see footnote below)
Put 4 tbsp of water in a blender with the coriander, tomato paste and green chillies and blend thoroughly. You might need to push the ingredients down part way through blending or even add a little more water in order to ensure it blends smoothly.
Put the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and lightly cook the garlic, add the cumin and cook for a few seconds. Add the dried chilli (whole or flakes) and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Finally add the onion and cook until softened and the onion takes on the reddish colour from the dried chilli.
Mash 2 tbsp of the peas* and add them, and the remaining whole peas to the onion mixture. Finally add the coriander and tomato paste and mix together and cook through for 15 minutes. Add more water to change the consistency of the dish based on your preference for dry or wet dishes.
*Note: if using dried peas you will need to cook them in a saucepan for 1 1/4 hours before draining and rinsing.
Asafoetida is a gum from a variety of giant fennel. It naturally has an offensive smell, rather like rotting garlic. It is one of the most blessed flavourings with Jain and Brahmin Indians, who eat neither garlic nor onions, as it adds a very similar savouriness. Hence my substitution of minced garlic in this recipe. It is also used by millions of people who cannot digest raw or undercooked onion or don’t like the smell and taste of garlic. Thanks to BBC Food for enlightening me!