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  • Imlee Lobhia
    Black-Eyed Peas in Tamarind–Coconut Curry

    YIELD: 9 CUPS / 2.1 L
    TOOLS: You will need a heavy-bottomed, 6-quart / 6-L stockpot or Dutch oven with a lid; a food processor; and an 8-inch / 20-cm frying pan.

    Decadent is the only accurate way to describe this dish. It is at once creamy—with no dairy—fulfilling, and comforting. The unique combination of tamarind, coconut milk, and black-eyed peas really makes this dish shine.

    • 3 cups /546 g lobhia (dried black-eyed peas), picked over, washed, soaked overnight, and drained
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 8 cups /1.9 L boiling water, divided
    • 1 (2-inch / 5-cm) cube dried tamarind pulp or 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
    • 1 large tomato, peeled and diced*
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 1 medium yellow or red onion, finely diced
    • 1 (1-inch / 3-cm) piece ginger, peeled and grated or minced
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or minced
    • 1–3 fresh Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed and finely sliced
    • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
    • 2 teaspoons red chile powder or cayenne pepper
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 cup /240 mL regular or light coconut milk
    • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
    • Brown or white basmati rice, Roti, or Naan, for serving
    1. Combine the lobhia, turmeric, and 7 cups / 1.7 L of the water in a heavy-bottomed, 6-quart / 6-L or larger stockpot or Dutch oven over medium–high heat and bring to a boil.
    2. Reduce the heat to medium–low, partially cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the lobhia soften. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside to cool slightly while you prep the remaining ingredients. There is no need to drain the beans, as the liquid will make a nice base for the curry later.
    3. While the beans are cooking, soak the tamarind pulp in the remaining 1 cup / 240 mL of water for at least 30 minutes. Once finished, use the back of a fork to break down the pulp and squeeze the liquid out by hand. Discard the pulp, seeds, and fiber, and using a fine strainer, strain the juice. Reserve the juice for the curry.
    4. In the bowl of a food processor, grind the reserved tamarind juice from Step 3 and the tomato into a watery paste. Set aside.
    5. In an 8-inch / 20-cm frying pan over medium–high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until browned and caramelized. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
    6. Slowly and carefully add the tamarind paste from Step 4, the fresh chiles, and the brown sugar to the frying pan. Stir well and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to the stockpot containing the lobhia.
    7. Return the stockpot to medium–high heat and add the coriander, red chile powder, and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
    8. Add the coconut milk and cook for 1 minute, until warmed through. Remove from the heat.
    9. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. Garnish with the cilantro and serve with the brown or white basmati rice, Roti, or Naan.
    10. See notes for peeling tomatoes. A serrated peeler is the easiest way.

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

© 2016 Alta Editions LLC.