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Chawli Curry with Peanuts (Black-eyed Pea Curry with Peanuts)

Black eyed peas (cowpea/ black-eyed beans/ goat peas) are rich in protein, carbohydrates and fibre, which make them an excellent energy source. Just half a cup of cooked black eyed peas contains 7 grams of protein and 18 grams of carbohydrates, the two main macro nutrients everyone is looking for in their food. Apart from that, cowpea contains a high amount of both soluble and insoluble fibre that helps clean the digestive tract as well as keeps you satiated by releasing energy slowly. Black-eyed peas also contain many micronutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium and folate. Calcium and magnesium aid in keeping our bones healthy and folate is especially important during pregnancy as it helps to lower the chance of brain and spinal cord defects in newborn babies.

Recipe: Darshana Muzumdar

Serves 2-3 people as part of a traditional Indian meal


  • ½ cup chawli beans
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • ½ tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts
  • ½ cup coriander leaves (add more if you like the flavour)
  • 2-4 green chillies chopped into small pieces
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste or 7-8 garlic cloves chopped finely (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  • Clean, wash and soak the chawli beans overnight or for at least 6 hours. It becomes 1 cup after soaking.
  • Heat oil in a steel pressure cooker or a thick bottomed steel pot.
  • Add the jeera and once it is roasted well, add the onions, half the green chillies and ginger-garlic paste if using. Sauté the onions till they are lightly golden brown.
  • Add the turmeric powder and curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds more.
  • Add the tomatoes, and sauté till the tomatoes are soft.
  • Add the soaked chawli beans, salt and a cup of water. Add more water if you want the gravy to be thinner. Pressure cook for two whistles, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to cool off completely before removing the pressure. If you are using a pot, cook it on medium to low heat till the peas are soft, adding water as and when necessary.
  • In the meanwhile, grind the coriander, the remaining green chillies, and peanuts to a thick paste without adding any water.
  • Once you have opened the pressure cooker, add this paste and bring to a boil. Rinse the blender jar and add this water to the curry, too. Add more water if you want the curry to be thinner.
  • Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves with rotis, bhakri or rice.

For the Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) version:

  • Use unrefined salt like rock salt.
  • Do not use oil. Add salt to the chopped onions and leave aside for 15 minutes. Sauté them once they have released moisture and become soft. Do this on medium to low heat till they are translucent and semi-cooked.
  • Continue the rest of the procedure as above.

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