Try this fresh-tasting, herb-infused, eight-ingredient Black Eyed Peas Dal for an appetite-tickling treat!
Spring is here, full force, and I am craving. Long walks with the dogs, lazy weekends with friends, road trips with family, and foods that whet the appetite and warm the belly.
This Black Eyed Peas Dal with Cilantro and Mint is exactly that sort of eats.
I call this a dal but it could very well be called a stew. The black eyed peas are immersed in a fresh, herby sauce of cilantro, green chili peppers and tomatoes. Shower with chopped mint at the very end and serve it with brown rice or quinoa, or crusty bread or naan.
I came across a version of this recipe in a Madhur Jaffrey cookbook a while back. Jaffrey stirs powerful alchemy into each of her recipes, and each time I lay my hands on one of her cookbooks at the public library, I don't let go until I've cooked dozens of recipes from it. Although I think she lives and works out of New York and London, she doesn't seem to work overtime, like some, to beat her recipes into versions acceptable to non-native eaters. And if she does, it is not at any cost to the flavor because neither I nor any Indian I have served her recipes to has ever been disappointed.
I also love that her cookbooks often mine some unusual regional Indian treasures that veer away from ubiquitous restaurant favorites. This recipe, for instance, is not one I'd ever eaten before, and after eating it the first time, I was almost saddened I hadn't found it earlier.
While I often tweak cookbook recipes to use what I have on hand, this recipe is so good, I made only a few minor modifications, like using fresh tomatoes and adding mint. I love how the cooling mint complements the chili peppers and adds a new dimension to an already perfect dish.
I cooked the black-eyed peas from scratch (see my primer on how to cook black-eyed peas) but canned beans would be fine here, and they'll save you time. If you get frozen black-eyed peas in a bag at the supermarket, those would work too.
If you choose to use dry beans and forget to soak them, or simply don't have the time, do a quick-soak, as I do. Immerse the peas (or beans? What the heck are they?) into boiling water to cover, let them stand an hour, and then pressure cook in the Instant Pot or whatever pressure cooker you have. You can just cook them in a saucepan on the stovetop, but that would take much longer, an hour perhaps?
If you make this recipe, be sure to let me know by leaving a comment below. Or take a photo and tag @holycowvegan on Instagram. I'd love to see!
More dal recipes
- The Best Dal Ever
- South Indian Green Tomato Dal, Thakkali Masiyal
- One-Pot Garlicky Spinach Dal
- Dal Tadka
- Vegan Dal Makhani
More stew and curry recipes
- Creamy Vegan Peas Potato Curry
- 20 Belly-Warming Vegan Stews
- Crockpot Black Eyed Peas Stew
- Mirchi ka Salan
Black Eyed Peas Dal
- 1 ½ cups dried black-eyed peas (soaked and cooked until tender)
- 1 cup cilantro
- 2 green chili peppers like jalapeno (chopped. Deseed or dial down the amount to suit your tastebuds)
- 1 medium tomato (coarsely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon fresh mint (chopped or ripped)
- Place the cilantro, green chili peppers and tomato in a blender with a quarter of a cup of water and make a coarse puree. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds and, as they start to turn color, add the onions. Add a pinch of salt and saute the onions until they begin to brown.
- Add the cilantro puree and stir to mix. Let the puree cook until most of the water has evaporated, stirring frequently, about five minutes over medium heat.
- Add the cooked black eyed peas and two cups of water. Let the dal come to a boil, simmer for five minutes to allow the flavors to mix together, then turn off the heat.
- Serve hot with rice or a bread like naan or roti.