What makes this recipe special?
This South Indian style black eyed peas curry has coconut milk and warm spices. Black eyed peas are referred to by different names depending on the language you speak. In Tamil, this dish would be called karamani (black eyed peas) kolambu (stew). In other parts of India, black eyed peas are referred to as lobia. So if you ever catch these names when you've eaten Indian food, now you know that they all reference black eyed peas!
My recipe for this black eyed peas curry is super special because it has a decadent and velvety texture that comes from a combination of adding full-fat coconut milk and cooking down eggplant and garlic until they just melt into the stew to add body and flavor. To make sure that the recipe isn't too heavy, it is topped with lime zest which adds the perfect amount of acidity to the dish without overpowering it!
Tips and tricks for this recipe
- Soak your beans in warm water while you gather your other ingredients, or better yet, overnight! Soaking the black eyed peas ensures that even the oldest bean that is all dried up will cook evenly. In addition, giving beans a quick soak will help your tummy digest it later!
- Allow the curry leaves in the tadka to crisp for a crunchy topping.
- Use Chikko brand full-fat coconut milk (it's in a brown can). Although any brand of coconut milk will do, the Chikko brand is my favorite because of its flavor and the fact that it remains emulsified in the can, unlike other brands on the market that tend to separate.
- Use Indian baby eggplant or Chinese eggplant for this recipe.
- If using canned black eyed peas, reduce the salt called for in the recipe.
- Pair this curry with basmati rice or thin out the curry slightly to transform this into a soup.