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Monday, July 8, 2013

Lobia (black-eyed peas) Curry

I'm kind of on a vegetarian streak.  I have no idea why, it's just happening this way.  I eat chicken or turkey or eggs every morning at breakfast, though.  I just appreciate all these vegetarian dishes and I've been making them all in a row so there is no space in my fridge for a meat dish.  We'll try to fix that tomorrow, ok?
My Burmese thali is transforming itself into an Indian thali tonight with my Lobia.  Black-eyed peas are very nutritious and not widely used in France.  In the US, it is a tradition to eat them on new year's day for good luck...probably because of all the good stuff they contain to start off the new year in a healthy way.  I've never cooked them before, so we'll see how this goes.
Adapted from Tickling Palates
1 cup dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight
2 chopped onions
1 chopped tomato
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asofetida (hing)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 sprig curry leaves
2 Tbsp oil
chopped cilantro and lemon for garnishing
1 onion, chopped coarsley
1 Tbsp oil
2 tsp chickpea flour (besan)
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 teaspoon nigella
2 dried chilis
4-5 tsp dried coconut
 1.  Cook the lobia in the crockpot in a large amount of water.  Mine were very tender after 5 1/2 to 6 hours.  You can pressure cook them if you prefer.
2.  Make the paste by heating some oil in a wok.  Add the dried chilis and seeds and fry about 30 seconds.  There should be some sizzling.
3.  Add the chopped onion and stir, cooking until translucent, then add the coconut and chickpea flour and let toast.
4.  Off heat, grind the concoction together, adding some of the cooking water from the lobia.  Set aside.
5.  Make the curry by heating some oil in a wok.  Add the mustard seeds, tumeric, and hing.  When it starts to crackle, add the curry leaves, garam masala, and onions and cook until translucent.
6.  Add the tomato and cook until it integrates.
7.  Add the paste and heat through.
8.  Add the cooked lobia with some of the cooking water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes so the flavors infuse.  I added all the cooking water because I like it saucy.  The coconut makes a thick curry.  Taste and add salt if necessary.  Mine was quite spicy...just the way I like it.

Serve garnished with chopped cilantro and some lemon.  It goes well with rice or alone, or in a thali.
Middle: Jeera Rice
Bottom: Ungarnished Lobia Curry

There really is no way to describe the euphoria you get from eating quality Indian food.
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