Black-eyed pea curry – South Indian Style

Black-eyed pea curry – South Indian Style

Black-eyed pea/Lobia curry is a delicious North Indian curry. This recipe is the south Indian version of it and is slightly different in taste yet delicious. First, we cook the black-eyed peas and potatoes in a pressure cooker(or a regular cooking pot). Then they are combined with a spicy onion-tomato gravy and allowed to cook and come together to form a luscious and healthy curry.

To give this dish a south Indian twist, I have used sambar powder, and to achieve the required curry thickness, I have used tomato paste. If you do not want to use the paste, you could use finely chopped or grated tomatoes. This curry is versatile and goes well with rice, rotis, or chapatis. Continue reading to know the step by step procedure to make this delicious curry.

Prep time: 6 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 6 hours, 30 minutes
Yield: 3 servings


For pressure cooking:
1 cup or 200g of black-eyed peas, soaked for 6 hours
2 small potatoes, rinsed and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon salt

For making the curry:
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
2 dried red chilies, split into half
Hing or asafoetida, a pinch
One sprig of curry leaves(8-10)
1 medium onion, chopped
Freshly made tomato paste (of 2 tomatoes)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon sambar powder, homemade or store-bought
2 tablespoons of tamarind extract
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves, a handful for garnishing


Pressure cooking:

  1. Discard the water from soaked black-eyed peas. And transfer them into a pressure cooker.
  2. Add potato cubes, salt, and 3 cups of water into the cooker and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or until the black-eyed peas and potatoes soften.
  3. Allow the cooker to depressurize.

Making the curry:

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a pan on medium heat.
  2. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once they pop and sizzle, add hing, minced garlic, and ginger and fry them for 30 seconds.
  3. Add a handful of curry leaves and allow them to splutter.
  4. Add chopped onions and sauté them until soft.
  5. Pour the freshly made tomato paste cook on low heat until the oil starts to separate.
  6. On low heat, add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, sambar powder, and salt to taste. Mix well and cook for 30 seconds and then add tamarind extract.
  7. Transfer cooked peas and potatoes into the pan. If there is any stock, transfer that too and gently combine.
  8. Pour as much water required to adjust the consistency of the curry and mix well. Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes on low heat for the curry to come together.
  9. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
  10. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and enjoy delicious black-eyed peas curry/ stew with rice and a dollop of ghee(optional).
  • You can tweak the quantity of each ingredient as per your taste and preference.
  • Soak black-eyed peas at least for 6 hours to expedite their cooking.
  • If you are not using a pressure cooker, you could use a regular cooking pot. Just add the soaked black-eyed peas and potatoes in, pour enough water, and cook until peas and potatoes soften.
  • Tamarind extract is optional. Instead of tamarind extract, you could use lime juice of half a lime at the end.
  • You could eat this curry with rotis or chapati as well by adjusting the consistency of the curry.
  • Store black-eyed peas curry in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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If you tried this recipe, tag your food recreation on my Instagram @swaadista and let me know how you liked it!

Happy cooking and happy eating <3

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