Black-Eyed Pea Curry (Lobhia Masala)

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Lobhia Masala (Black-Eyed Pea Curry)

The flavor of cumin complements black-eyed peas perfectly, so this curry has plenty of cumin — both as seeds and as ground spice. This is a quite a spicy version of this simple Indian dish, so feel free to omit the cayenne and/or reduce the spices and chilies a little if it looks a little too potent for your taste. Even with less spicing, it's still delicious.

Lobhia Masala (Black-Eyed Pea Curry)Black-Eyed Pea Curry (Lobhia Masala)
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on October 1, 2007

Black-eyed peas in a simple, spicy and fragrant cumin-scented tomato curry

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  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • handful of fresh green chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • Rinse the black-eyed peas and soak for 4 to 6 hours or overnight in several inches of water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium or large saucepan and add enough water to cover about 1 inch above the peas. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes or until the peas are tender but not falling apart.

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the cumin seeds and let them splutter for 30 seconds. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilies and fry for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Toss in the spices and stir-fry for another 3 to 4 minutes, making sure to coat the vegetables with the spices and stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add the tomato and cook for another 5 minutes.

  • Pour the fried vegetable and spice mixture into the pan of beans. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or longer to let the flavors mingle, but not so long that the black-eyed peas dissolve.

  • Stir in the salt before serving. Serve hot over a bed of fresh cooked basmati rice.

Makes 4 servings


Rohini's kitchen said...

Nice and healthy dish. Looks great!!

Asha said...

Love the Lobia dish,looks delicious!

basil said...

I made this tonight with black beans (which I'd started soaking before I read this recipe) instead of black eyed peas. I can't compare it to the original but this version is tasty. I served it on a bed of rice with a couple of spoonfuls of plain yogurt on top.

basil said...

I added the juice of one lemon to it as well for a little tang.

Lisa said...


I like the idea of using black beans and the addition of lemon is perfect. Thanks for sharing.