Black-eyed peas with tamarind and coconut
Daal’s the store cupboard ingredients that can trigger your taste buds and culinary skills!
Anjula’s tells Chaat!, “I have always loved daal; for me it’s the ultimate delicious comfort food. I’m not quite sure why many people in the UK don’t appreciate the myriad benefits of lentils and pulses. Not only are these beautiful gems full of nutritional value, they are affordable, sustainable and healthy. Chana daal, for example, is incredibly low in GI and is great for diabetics”.
If you search online for ‘black-eyed peas,’ you’ll find lots of results for the famous American hip-hop band as well as for these wonderful beans – that’s right, they are actually beans rather than peas. Known as ‘lobia’ in Hindi and Punjabi, black-eyed peas combined with coconut milk make this dish a real delight. You can use dry black-eyed peas, but do remember to soak them overnight. They are delicious eaten hot or cold and come with some impressive nutritional benefits.
1 Indian bay leaf
1 1 inch piece of cassia bark
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
4 green cardamom, lightly bashed
1/2 tsp ajwain seeds
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
2-3 green chillies, pierced
1 tsp fresh pulped ginger
2 tsp fresh pulped garlic
2 400 g tins of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
200 ml coconut milk
2 tbs tamarind paste
Sea salt to taste
1tsp grated jaggery
Small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
Heat a sauté pan, with a lid, on a medium heat and warm the vegetable oil. Add the onions and sauté for 3 minutes.
Add the Indian bay leaf, cassia bark and salt to taste. Continue to sauté for 5 minutes, then add the turmeric powder, red chilli flakes, tomatoes and jaggery. Stir well and continue to sauté gently on a low heat for 10 minutes.
Add the green chillies, garlic and ginger and sauté for 2 minutes.
Place a small pan on a low heat and gently warm the crushed coriander seeds, cumin seeds and ajwain seeds for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add to the onions and tomatoes.
In the same small pan, warm the warming spices on a low heat for 1 minute. Set aside.
Add the black-eyed peas, stir really well and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and immediately reduce to a simmer.
Add the warming spices and tamarind paste, then place the lid on the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the chopped coriander and serve with basmati rice.
Recipe by Anjula Devi
NB – remember to count the cloves and cardamoms in and then count them out again before serving.
Piercing your fresh chillies with a cocktail stick gives you more control over the warmth of your dish. If you like your dish hot, then simply chop the chillies rather than pierce them.