Black-eyed-pea Curry

Not the the cheesy pop group but the bean…

It’s funny to me that I, the (ex-)quintessential meat-eater:

  • am largely vegetarian these days
  • keep a vegetarian blog
  • have just realised that many of the recipes here are actually vegan

You could seriously have not made me believe that of future-me only a few years ago. In any case it’s recipes like this one that cause me to be a happy as I am. Some things just really don’t need meat.

[Adapted from a Gordon Ramsay recipe]

  • 250g black eyed peas
  • 3T oil
  • 3t cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2t coriander seeds
  • 2 chillies
  • 500g tomatoes
  • a large handful of chopped coriander (about a cup)
  • ½C tomato paste
  • ½t salt
  1. Do the day beforehand: put the beans in a big pot with lots of water and leave to soak overnight
  2. After you’ve overcome your amazement at how disgusting the water looks, discard the soaking water and rinse the beans.
  3. Tip them into a pot with plenty of water and place on the boil. They should boil for about 30mins or so. This will still leave them with quite a bit of bite. I think they’re better with a bit of  “meaty” bite to them (if you’ll excuse the phrase on a vegetarian blog).
  4. Whilst the beans are cooking, put the oil in a pan and put the pan on a medium high heat.
  5. Put the cinnamon and half (i.e. 1½t) of cumin seeds in the pan.
  6. Whilst they spices are having a couple of minutes to get fragrant (they only need like 3-4 mins), dice the onions and garlic and then add them and stir.
  7. Fry the onions until they are soft and translucent.
  8. In the meantime, deseed and mince the chillies, deseed and dice the tomatoes and grind the remaining spices i.e. the 1½t cumin seeds and 3t coriander seeds. You can of course preground if you want to make your life easier, but I like the grinding somehow.
  9. Add the salt, ground spices, drained black-eyed peas, chopped tomatoes and minced chillies to the pan and leave to simmer for a about 30mins. You should check it once in a while and if it looks too dry add some water.
  10. 5minutes before you’re ready to serve, stir through the tomato paste, add the chopped coriander and adjust the seasoning necessary (I think it normally does need a bit more salt, but it’ easier to add more than less).

Serve with warm rice. Or actually, you could as I’ve done many times, leave if to cool and take it to lunch over the next couple of days. It seems to taste better actually when it’s had a day or two to rest and develop flavour.

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