Black Eyed Pea Masala

They’re coming to an end and it HURTS! Those blissful days when I can stay at work until 5, then go for a run, cook dinner, and still take a picture of it in natural light. I can’t stand the thought of trying to make artificially lit photos work (because they just never do), but with work and running slightly (but only slightly) more important to my sanity than my blog, I guess I’ll just have to figure something out. I’ve survived 2 winters of blogging, but I was either in Thailand or not working a real adult job, so this will be a challenge.

On a pretty much completely unrelated note, I somehow ALWAYS have cupboards overflowing with random beans and grains, and I could swear the black eyed peas have been multiplying, because I feel like I’m constantly cooking with them but I keep finding more. Because I’m not that familiar with them, I turned to the queen of dried legumes (I hope she doesn’t mind that title), Branny, who inspired me to cook my own dried beans and stop buying canned. Tack “masala” onto just about anything and it’s a pretty sure bet Mike and I will like it, so I figured this would be good, and it was! I kind of veered off in my own direction when it came to vegetables and spices, but I have Branny to thank for the inspiration.

This is a very quick dinner if your beans are already cooked. I just threw mine in the slow cooker with plenty of water on low in the morning and they were perfect by the time I was ready to cook. It’s vegan if you use vegetable oil, but if you have ghee it would be perfect here.

(inspired by Branny Boils Over)

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 thinly sliced serrano chiles (optional)
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
3 cups cooked black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp salt
2 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
fresh cilantry, for garnish

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cook for about a minute, then stir in the tomatoes. Stir well, lower heat to medium, and add the black eyed peas, spinach, and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the spinach wilts slightly.

To finish, heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a small frying pan. When it’s hot, add the cumin seeds, turmeric, and coriander and let the spices fry for about 30 seconds. Immediately stir them into the black eyed peas and mix well. Serve over rice, garnished with fresh cilantro.

4 Responses to “Black Eyed Pea Masala”

  1. 1 Kristen September 28, 2010 at 6:35 am

    It’s funny – I JUST started ditching my canned beans for the dried ones! What a difference! Now I’m all about cooking with dried beans – so this looks great and something I’d definitely like to try! And so healthy, too!

  2. 2 branny September 28, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Love your addition of spinach. And of course I don’t mind be named the Queen of Legumes!

    My coworkers always make fun of me; they ask,”I bet I can guess what Branny has for lunch today! BEANS!”

    And yep, they are right. Always.

  3. 3 Bridget September 28, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I’ve never tried black-eyed peas, but I’ve always been curious. I should try this, because I agree that masala in the title is always a good sign.

    As far as light goes: Do you have a tripod? I had a little countertop dealie that I used for a long time, and it was great because as long as there was any natural light at all, I could use a long exposure and get fairly well lit photos. Also, if you have dSLR, well, you’ve got a job now…treat yourself to an external flash! It will change your life, seriously. No more photographing leftovers, rushing to get dinner done before sunset, rearranging your plans around the best light…

  4. 4 viki July 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I took a look at Branny’s site to see what inspired you. I added green pepper, a left over salmon cake, and collard greens i/s/o spinach. I used a spice packet that I had on hand, an Arora creation Punjabi Chhole packet, not the whole thing maybe about half. Very yummy.

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