Lobia Masala (Black-eyed Bean Curry)

There are several types of beans used in Indian cuisine. I am not very familiar with the American terminologies such as refried beans. But I am quite sure that this is called black-eyed beans even in America. There are several dishes that can be made with this versatile beans. I normally stick to the tried and tested South Indian dishes such as sundal (both sweet and savoury) or as an addition in dishes such as olan – all these recipes are already in this blog. It is only rarely that I attempt the Punjabi dishes using this bean. Not because it is not tasty. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s just that the bean is not top-of-mind for me. And whenever the mood takes me to use this, my mind invariably reverts to the South Indian dishes. Fortunately, I remembered how wonderful the Punjabi dish using this bean is – and tried a few months ago. Heaven!

Lobia Masala

1 cup black-eyed beans, soaked for 2 hours
1 onion, chopped fine
1 tomato, chopped fine
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (sabut jeera, jeeragam)
1 bay leaf
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder (adjust according to taste)
Salt to taste
2 cups water
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Rinse the black-eyed beans and set aside
Heat a pressure cooker and add the cumin seeds
When they begin to splutter, add the onion and bay leaf
Sprinkle a little water, if necessary
Sauté till the onion begins to turn brown
Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric powder, black pepper powder, red chili powder and salt
Sauté for a few seconds
Add the tomato and cook for about 3 minutes or until the it is mushy
Add the black-eyed beans and 2 cups of water
Close the lid and cook on high for about 20 minutes (pressure cooking times may vary) or till the beans are done, but not mushy
Let the steam release naturally and open the lid
Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves
Serve hot with steamed red/brown rice or Indian flat breads

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