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Black-eyed pea curry with crisp shallots and curry leaves

This earthy curry is sure to please vegetarians and carnivores alike. Adjust the amount of green chilli to your taste - if you prefer a mild curry, discard the seeds. Begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the black-eyed peas.

You'll need

2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 8 golden shallots, thinly sliced 3 long green chillies, thinly sliced 1 tbsp finely grated ginger 2 tsp cumin seeds 2 tsp ground turmeric 5 fresh curry leaves (see note) 200 gm (1 cup) dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in cold water, drained 80 gm coarsely grated fresh coconut flesh To serve: chapatis and steamed basmati rice   Crisp shallots and curry leaves 150 gm ghee or coconut oil 3 golden shallots, thinly sliced on a mandolin 1½ tsp black mustard seeds 3 sprigs fresh curry leaves


  • 01
  • Heat ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add garlic, half the shallots and a quarter of the green chilli, and stir occasionally until tender and light golden (4-5 minutes). Add ginger, cumin, turmeric and curry leaves, stir until fragrant (1 minute), then add black-eyed peas and 1 litre cold water. Bring to the simmer and cook until black-eyed peas are just tender (20-25 minutes).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, process coconut, remaining shallot, remaining chilli and 1 tsp sea salt in a blender with 125ml water until smooth and combined (1 minute), add to curry mixture and simmer until creamy and well flavoured (10-15 minutes). Adjust seasoning to taste, remove from heat and stand for 10 minutes.
  • 03
  • For crisp shallots and curry leaves, heat ghee in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add shallots and stir occasionally until beginning to turn golden (2-3 minutes). Add mustard seeds, stir until they start to pop (30 seconds), then remove from heat, add curry leaves (be careful, oil will spit) and stir to coat. Spoon over curry and serve hot with chapatis and steamed rice.
Note Fresh curry leaves are available from Asian grocers and some supermarkets.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

India pale ale.

Featured in

Jun 2014

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