Recipe credit: Darshana Muzumdar
Serves 4-6 as a part of an Indian meal.
- 1 cup lobia (black eyed beans/cow peas/rongi/chawli)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds or powder (jeera)
- 1 medium sized onion finely chopped
- ½ inch ginger (adrak) finely chopped
- 2 to 3 medium garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 or 2 green chilies slit or chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder (lal mirch)
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania powder)
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 3 cups water
- 1 to 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (dhania patta)
- salt as required
Clean, wash and soak the lobia overnight or for three to four hours. Rinse and drain the water. Heat oil in a thick bottom steel pan, pot or pressure cooker. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle and add the chopped onions. Stir and sauté till the onions become translucent. Add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies. Sauté till the ginger and garlic release their aroma (around 30 seconds to a minute). Add the chopped tomatoes, stir well and add the all the dry spices – turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Sauté the masala on a low flame, till the tomatoes become soft and the entire tomato-onion mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan or cooker and you see the oil leaving from the sides. This takes some time so be patient and do not leave the mixture unattended or it will start burning. Add the lobia or black eyed beans, 3 cups of water, salt and stir. Cover the pot and cook till the beans are soft and easy to mash between two fingers. If using a pressure cooker or pressure pan pressure cook till the beans are well cooked (around 2 to 3 whistles). Simmer the gravy without the lid till it it is thick and not watery. Alternately, mash a few cooked beans to thicken the gravy. This gravy is neither thick nor thin. Add three fourths of the chopped coriander and give the gravy a stir. Empty it into a serving bowl, garnish with the rest of the coriander leaves. Serve hot with rotis or steamed rice.
For the Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) version:
Use rock salt instead of refined salt.
Put the chopped onions in a thick bottom steel pot, add a little salt and let it rest for a few minutes to sweat. Heat an iron tempering ladle and add the cumin seeds/powder. Sauté a little and add it to the onions. Sauté the onions till the moisture dries up and the onions start to brown slightly. If necessary, add a little water at a time to cook them till soft. The onions should be soft and translucent. Alternatively, add very little water and pressure cook for one whistle.
Do not peel the ginger. Add the chopped ginger, garlic, and green chilli and sauté till they release their aroma. Continue the rest as above.