Black eyed Peas & Coconut Milk Masala

This creamy and hearty masala is a complex-tasting dish that is a one-pot recipe and surprisingly easy to make. The right ingredients are critical though. Whole Indian spices, curry leaves, chillies, ginger and garlic flavor the coconut milk before adding in black eyed peas. Typically, this curry doesn’t require additional veggies in them, but I love adding cabbage, green peppers, peas, and carrots. Not only do they add flavor, they add so much texture!

The flavors are incredible; the black eyed peas and veggies stewed in that spiced coconut milk broth are so tender and just so good!! These flavors are quintessentially south Indian (Tamilian) and the weekend cooking from my childhood. This dish takes about 45-60 minutes to make, and tastes like it’s been simmering all day.  Give it a try this weekend!

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Note: I used an Instant pot to make this one-pot dish. You could also do this on a stovetop using a heavy bottomed soup pot. I’ll write out instructions for both below for every step in the process.

Ingredients:
servings: 8
4 cups black eyed peas (I use the frozen kind, which are not pre-cooked)
4 cups water
2 cups cabbage, chopped into large chunks
1/2 cup of green bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup green peas, thawed to room temperature (I use frozen ones)
1 red onion, chopped
2 tbsp vegan butter
1 tsp + 1 tsp coarse salt
1 14 oz can coconut milk or ~2 cups
Spices & herbs:
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
3 dried bay leaves
1″ piece ginger, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
4 indian green chillies, chopped (substitute a milder chilli like serrano if you prefer)
15-20 curry leaves or ~2 sprigs , hand torn to pieces

Method:

Step 1A7272B59-50CD-41B4-B971-FF8F51539EC6
Instant pot
Set in place the instant pot insert, and turn on ‘saute’ mode. Set saute mode on high or ‘more’ by using the adjust button. Once you hear a beep, it will start heating up.

Add the measured vegan butter. Heat for 10 seconds, or until the butter starts melting.

Add in whole spices; cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. Saute for a few seconds, and add chopped ginger, garlic, and chillies. Saute for a minute.

Now add the curry leaves followed by chopped onions. Cook for about 6-7 minutes until the onions soften and start turing golden.

Stove top
Use a heavy bottomed soup pot or cooking pot, preferably. Heat over medium-high heat, and add butter.

Once the butter begins to melt, add the whole spices; cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. Saute for a few seconds. Then add chopped ginger, garlic, and chillies. Saute for a minute.

Now add the curry leaves, followed by chopped onions. Cook for about 6-7 minutes until the onions soften and start turing golden brown.

Step 2251BD2FE-20DA-4C25-AFE9-0921198C45BD

Instant pot
Once the onions have softened and turn golden, add all the black eyed peas, and 1 tsp salt. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in measured 1/2 cup peas, and 4 cups of water. Heat this mixture up for 5 minutes.

Turn off saute mode by hitting the ‘keep warm/cancel’ button. Cover with the instant pot lid, and set the vent to ‘sealing’ or closed position.  Hit the ‘manual’ button and set cooking time for 12 minutes, and let the Instant Pot do it’s thing.

Once cooking is complete, and you hear the three beeps; let it rest for another 15 minutes. Then, very carefully (use a towel if needed) release the vent by moving it to the venting position. Release all the remaining steam. Uncover.

Stove top
Once the onions have softened and turn golden, add all the black eyed peas, and 1 tsp salt. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add in the measured 1/2 cup peas, and 4 cups of water. Bring this mixture to a boil, over high heat. This takes about 10 minutes.

Once you see a rolling boil, lower the heat to medium, and make sure it is simmering gently. Cover the soup pot with a lid, and let this simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Uncover.

Step 3927AF541-BE82-40BD-83E9-51F618C3964E

Instant pot
Once uncovered, the black eyed peas should be cooked through, but still remain firm and intact. Now add the rest of the chopped veggies; 2 cups cabbage, 1/2 cup carrots, and 1/2 cup green bell peppers. Add an extra cup of water if the mixture is too thick.

Turn the instant pot back on ‘saute’ mode. Set saute mode on high or ‘more’ by using the adjust button. Once you hear a beep, the instant pot will start heating up.

Bring this whole mixture to a boil, and continue cooking for 15 minutes, until the veggies cook down slightly.

Make sure you keep stirring once in a while.

Then add 2 cups of coconut milk and the remaining 1 tsp salt. Wash out the coconut milk can with 1/2 cup of water and pour that water in as well. Mix everything together thoroughly. Simmer for 10 more minutes, until all the veggies are cooked.

I like to keep the veggies slightly firm and not too cooked to mush. I love veggies with a bit of texture.

Turn off the instant pot by hitting the “keep warm/cancel” button.

Stove top
Once uncovered, the black eyed peas should be cooked through, but still remain firm and intact. Add the rest of the chopped veggies; 2 cups cabbage, 1/2 cup carrots, and 1/2 cup green bell peppers. Add an extra cup of water if the mixture is too thick.

Cover and cook over medium heat for an additional 15 minutes. Make sure it is simmering.

Make sure you keep stirring once in a while.

Uncover. Then add 2 cups of coconut milk. Wash out the can with 1/2 cup of water and pour that water in as well. Add the remaining 1 tsp salt, and mix everything together thoroughly.

Simmer for 10 more minutes, until the veggies are cooked. I like to keep the veggies slightly firm and not too cooked to mush. I love veggies with a bit of texture.

Turn off heat.

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Sprinkle more fresh curry leaves on top, and serve hot with your favorite carb! This masala pairs incredibly well with rice noodles, rice, or millets.

Happy weekend eating! <3

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