Black Eyed Peas With Onions and Yoghurt Recipe

Updated on November 17, 2017

This recipe is an excellent bean dish—actually black eyed peas—that can serve both as a hearty lunch or a side dish at dinner. Sometimes beans can be a bit bland, but not this one, as it marries beans to the wondrous taste of sautéd onion—not to mention a host of various spices and herbs. It produces quite a lot of food, and if you're making this for a smaller gathering, I advise that you reduce the portions quite extensively. The measurements I have below could feed about 5-6 people on its own.

I had made this alongside Mughlai braised chicken, and I had quite a lot left. Fortunately, it continues to get even better on the second day, as the beans continue to marinate in the juice, soaking up the flavor and juice. Furthermore, this dish is very flexible and can accompany a variety of meat dishes, and adding some additional vegetables to the dish itself or having them as a side can elegantly complete a full course.

While the original recipe is purely vegetarian, it would be easy enough to incorporate some sausage and to make this into an easy one-dish meal. I would advise adding in some prosciutto sausage perhaps if desired, adding it in at the same time as the beans themselves are put onto the skillet.

This is an adaption of the recipe found in A Taste of India by Madhur Jaffrey.

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  • 1 1/2 cups black-eyed peas
  • 2 onions, chopped finely
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 2 1-inch cubes ginger, or 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 2 teaspoons groundcoriander seeds
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley/cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder


  1. There are two ways to prepare the beans. Either one can soak them for a substantial period of time in water, or one can boil them and then let them simmer for 2 minutes, and then let them sit for an hour, covered and undisturbed. Personally I mostly do the former as that's the way I've always done beans, but the latter works as well. With the former, cover with 2-3 times the amount of water as one has beans, with the latter, use 5 cups of water.
  2. Combine the ginger and garlic. Mix with 1/3 cup water, and blend in a food processor or blender to reach a paste.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet with medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, stir and fry until the onions are browned, and then add in the ginger and garlic paste. stir and fry 1 minute more, then add ground coriander and cumin, stir a minute more, add the tomato, fry until tomato is soft, reduce medium-high heat to medium.
  4. Begin to add in the yoghurt. Add in 1 tablespoon at a time, then stirring to make sure that it is well mixed, repeating until all of the yoghurt is added. Stir and fry for 2-3 minutes more, then add in the beans and the liquid, and red chili powder. Reduce heat to simmer, cover the skillet, and cook for 40 minutes or until one judges the beans tender. Cook without covering if too much liquid exists. Add in cilantro and garnish at end.
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Drained beans - not actually a necessary part of the recipe. Well, the draining part that is.
Drained beans - not actually a necessary part of the recipe. Well, the draining part that is.
Drained beans - not actually a necessary part of the recipe. Well, the draining part that is.

© 2017 Ryan Thomas


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