Superstitious or not, when you make this Black Eyed Peas Tikka Masala flecked with collard greens and sweet potatoes, you will feel -- for the five minutes or so that it takes you to scarf it down -- like the luckiest person on earth.
It's a new year! A chance to make everything new again. I hope this will be a lucky one for all, including the beautiful animals who share our planet.
I feel lucky already. Opie came home on Tuesday: we decided not to move forward with the surgery because all the signs -- and our instinct -- pointed against it, and in the end the doctor herself said she could not perform surgery in any case because he has a low red blood cell count.
Opie was very excited to be back home, after the stress and all of that prodding and poking at the hospital by people who, although kind, are -- to him -- still strangers. He's lost a lot of weight in just two or three days, but he looks comfortable and happy. He's also eating well and looks utterly beautiful, as you can see -- in fact, a bit like a poodle, with various body parts shaved clean.
Thanks to all of you who wrote to wish him well. Your messages and emails were heartening and full of great advice that I will cherish and heed. These past few days have been tough, but your warmth and love have been a source of great comfort. I will keep you updated on our journey from here on.
Now on to this Black Eyed Peas Tikka Masala with collards and sweet potatoes. Black eyed peas are one of my favorite beans, and it's perhaps that nutty flavor that makes me crave them so much. They also go from dry to done much faster than the average bean, which is perfect for the hurried cook.
For this recipe I used dry beans that I soaked and cooked, but if you would rather not go to the trouble, use canned beans. They will work just as well. Because I was pressure cooking the beans I added the collards to the cooker along with the beans. You can easily substitute with kale or any quick cooking green like spinach or watercress. I also added in some sweet potato cubes because I love their sweetness in this spicy curry. Leave them out if you want this dish from stovetop to the table in 15 minutes, or substitute with another quick-cooking veggie like bell peppers or zucchini or even cauliflower.
It took me about 25 minutes to make this Black Eyed Peas Tikka Masala, thanks to the Tikka Masala Curry Paste recipe I shared with you last, not including the time to pressure cook the black eyed peas. I served this with some hot rice and poppadums to get the new year to the right start. It's the perfect meal whether you're on a vegan diet or an omnivore.
A Happy -- and a Lucky -- New Year to you, my dear friends, and may every dream you ever dreamed come true in 2016.
Black Eyed Peas Tikka Masala
- 1 1/2 cups dry black eyed peas soaked for a few hours and rinsed (substitute with 3 cups canned peas)
- 1 tsp coconut or other vegetable oil
- 2 cups frozen collard greens or 4 cups fresh cut into thin strips
- 1 leave large sweet potato diced (you can the skin on or take it off-- the skin cooks up pretty soft and you keep in more nutrition)
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1/3 of this recipe of Tikka Masala Curry Paste
- 1/4 cup of cashews blended with 1/2 cup water into a smooth paste
- Salt to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- leaves Coriander for garnish
- If pressure cooking, place the black eyed peas and collard greens in the pressure cooker and cook until tender. Took me about 10 minutes on a medium-low flame after reaching pressure.
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the onions.
- Saute until they begin to brown, about 3-5 minutes, then add in the sweet potatoes and some salt and stir well.
- Cover and cook on a medium flame for about five minutes, then add the cooked black eyed peas and collards. If using spinach or another green, add now. Add the curry paste.
- Stir well and add water if the mixture is too dry. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and let the masala cook about five minutes.
- Check if the sweet potatoes are done. Add the cashew paste and salt to taste and stir well. Turn off the heat.
- Stir in the lemon juice and coriander.
- Serve hot with rice.
More black eyed peas recipes from the archives: