Easy Black-Eyed Peas Curry

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Published: Jan 7, 2023 by Vaishali · This post may contain affiliate links · Leave a Comment

Black-eyed peas curry in karahi with text that says Black-eyed peas curry in karahi with text that says

A black-eyed peas curry with the south Indian flavors of curry leaves and coconut milk. The curry is spicy, full of flavor, and it takes just over 30 minutes from scratch to table!

Black eyed peas curry in karahi with cilantro garnish and beans strewn around.Black eyed peas curry in karahi with cilantro garnish and beans strewn around.

An appetizing black-eyed peas curry is one of my favorite ways to use this versatile legume, alongside other Indian style black-eyed pea recipes like this black-eyed peas dal and this low-carb black-eyed peas and cauliflower curry.

This easy black-eyed peas curry is aromatic with curry leaves and creamy with coconut milk. And it tastes absolutely fantastic with rice or roti.

Table of Contents

Why you will love this recipe

  • Flavorful and spicy. An Indian curry should announce itself with an assertive, appetizing aroma that simply makes you want to eat. This black-eyed peas curry does that, and how! There are so many delicious flavors in this recipe, and it will bring your family running to the dinner table.
  • Easy and one-pot. One-pot recipes are great, but easy and one-pot is hands-down fantastic. This dish needs just over 30 minutes from scratch to finish and you need mostly pantry ingredients to make it.
  • Suited to all diets. The black-eyed peas curry is vegan, soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free, making it suitable for all eaters.

Ingredients

  • Black-eyed peas (cowpeas/lobia/chawli/karamani). Use cooked or canned black-eyed peas. You will need 3 cups of cooked beans, which is the yield from one cup of dried black-eyed peas. If you would like to learn how to cook dried black-eyed peas, which is a far superior option to using canned, read my post on how to cook the perfect black-eyed peas. It includes foolproof instructions for cooking the beans on the stovetop, in an Instant Pot and in the slow cooker, as well as with and without soaking the beans first.
  • Coconut oil. Coconut oil is great in this recipe, which has south Indian flavors. You can also use a neutral oil, including avocado oil, grape seed oil, sunflower oil or safflower oil.
  • Mustard seeds. Use black mustard seeds in all Indian cooking.
  • Curry leaves. Curry leaves add a lovely aroma to this recipe. If you don’t have fresh curry leaves, substitute with a couple of tablespoons of fresh cilantro instead.
  • Ginger garlic paste
  • Powdered spices: turmeric, ground coriander (coriander powder), ground cumin (cumin powder) and cayenne or paprika (or any red chili powder of your choice) and garam masala.
  • Tomatoes. You can either puree fresh tomatoes or use canned tomato puree.
  • Coconut milk. You need just ½ to ¾ cup here, not too much, because you don’t want to drown out the other flavors.
  • Cilantro. For garnish.
Lobia masala curry in karahi with cilantro garnish.Lobia masala curry in karahi with cilantro garnish.

Serving suggestions

  • Serve the dal with any Indian flatbread, like roti or chapatis, vegan naan, or khasta parathas. Or pair it with a grain, including basmati rice, cooked millets or quinoa. If you are eating fewer carbs, eat this curry with cauliflower rice — that’s what I eat it with and it tastes amazing.
  • Serve a sabzi alongside the dal and rice or roti. I love pairing it with this cabbage curry or this spicy cauliflower sabzi.

Storage instructions

  • Refrigerate: The black-eyed peas curry can be stored in the fridge for three days. Refrigerate immediately after it cools down to room temperature.
  • Freeze: You can freeze the curry in an airtight container or freezer-safe container for up to three months.
  • Reheat: Reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave. Add more water and salt if needed.

Recipe FAQ

Can I use another bean in this recipe?

Red kidney beans or pinto beans would be great in this curry. Substitute cup for cup.

Can I make this curry without added oil?

To make the curry without added oil sputter the mustard seeds in a dry pan. Then add 1 tablespoon of coconut milk to saute the onions. Proceed with the rest of the recipe.

I am watching my fat calories. Can I skip the coconut milk?

You can. The curry will still taste great, but it won’t be as creamy.

Can I make this curry in the Instant Pot?

Yes! You can even begin with dried beans if you plan on using the Instant Pot. Proceed with steps 1-4 using the saute mode of the Instant Pot.
Add a cup of dried beans and 4 cups water to the Instant Pot liner.
Cook on the high pressure mode for 25 minutes, then allow the pressure to release naturally or force-release manually 10 minutes after cooking.
Add the remaining coconut milk and garam masala, stir it in, and garnish with cilantro.

Pro tip

When cooking Indian curries, you want to make sure everything has cooked thoroughly so there are no raw flavors. One way to ensure you have simmered the curry long enough is to watch for tiny droplets of fat on the surface of the curry.

More delicious black-eyed pea recipes

Black-eyed peas curry in karahi with cilantro garnish and beans strewn around.Black-eyed peas curry in karahi with cilantro garnish and beans strewn around.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review and a star rating below or tag us on Instagram! Thanks!

Black-eyed peas curry with cilantro in karahi bowl.Black-eyed peas curry with cilantro in karahi bowl.

Easy Black-Eyed Peas Curry (Lobia Curry)

A black-eyed peas curry with the south Indian flavors of curry leaves and coconut milk. The curry is spicy, full of flavor, and it takes under 30 minutes from scratch to table!

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Course: Curry, Main Course

Cuisine: Indian

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 8 servings

Calories: 78kcal

Author: Vaishali · Holy Cow Vegan

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Instructions

  • Heat oil. Add mustard seeds and when they sputter add the curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds.

  • Add the onions to the pot with a bit of salt and saute until they just begin to brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, ground cumin and ground coriander and mix. Saute a minute or so to let the spices toast.

  • Stir in the tomato puree and cayenne or paprika. Mix and saute for about five minutes or until most visible moisture has evaporated and the tomato mixture looks much darker.

  • Stir in ½ cup coconut milk. Mix it in. Continue to saute for another five minutes.

  • Add the black eyed peas along with any cooking stock. If you are using canned beans add 2 cups water first, then add more if needed. Bring the curry to a boil, then turn heat down to medium low and simmer five minutes.

  • Stir in the remaining coconut milk followed by garam masala. Bring back to a boil, add more salt as needed, then turn off heat. Serve hot.

Recipe notes

Pro tip: When cooking Indian curries, you want to make sure everything has cooked thoroughly so there are no raw flavors. One way to ensure you have simmered the curry long enough is to watch for tiny droplets of fat on the surface of the curry. Storage instructions
  • Refrigerate: The black-eyed peas curry can be stored in the fridge for three days. Refrigerate immediately after it cools down to room temperature.
  • Freeze: You can freeze the curry in an airtight container or freezer-safe container for up to three months.
  • Reheat: Reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave. Add more water and salt if needed.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 389IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

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About Vaishali


Hi! I’m Vaishali, a journalist turned food blogger. At Holy Cow Vegan I share easy, tasty recipes made with clean, wholesome ingredients that the entire family can enjoy.

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