Black Chana and Black eyed Peas Curry

We all try to solve the weeknight dinner puzzle of what to make that’s easy and tasty – This is recipe is a delicious answer. Warm spices, creamy tomato gravy, and satisfying beans is as comforting as comfort food gets.

Ingredients:
For the tomato gravy:
2 tbsp oil
1″ piece ginger, roughly chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp chilli powder (here is there you can adjust the spiciness – use 1 tsp for a mild version)
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 large tomatoes, diced
a handful of cilantro, washed thoroughly
1 tsp kosher salt

The curry:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large red onion, 1/2 diced and 1/2 sliced thing lengthwise
1 cup raw black eyed peas
1 cup raw black chana (black chickpeas)
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp dried methi(fenugreek) leaves
2 tsp kosher salt

Servings: 4-6

Wash and soak the black eyed peas and black channa in hot water. Let this soak until all the remaining steps/prep is complete.

Instant Pot/Electric Pressure cooker method:
Tomato Gravy: 
Use the sauté button and set to high heat. Add oil and heat slightly, about 15 seconds. Add ginger, garlic, all the spice powders and fry for 20 seconds. Toss in the tomatoes, salt, and cilantro, and top with about 1/2 cup water. Cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the tomatoes soften. Turn off saute, and transfer these contents into a blender to cool. Blend the mixture to a smooth sauce.

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The Curry: Quickly rinse the insert pot, dry and put it back into the cooker. Hit the site button again and set to high heat. Melt butter, and add the cumin seeds. Once they start roasting/spluttering, add the onions. I like to use a mix of finely chopped and sliced onions. The chopped onions combine well with the curry and make the sauce thicker, the lengthwise sliced ones retain their shape and add texture to the dish.

Keep stirring and cooking the onions until they turn translucent, and start to brown. Add the tomato sauce mixture prepared, drain and add the soaking black eyed peas/black chana. Add 2 cups of water, and the rest of the salt. Mix well. Turn off saute by hitting the keep warm button.

Set manual, high pressure and adjust time to 8 minutes. NR. Once you are able to vent, and open the lid, hit the saute button again on high heat. (Now is when you can adjust the thickness of your gravy, add more water if you’d like this to have a soupy consistency, best served with rice. Leave it a bit thicker if you’re seeing it with naan or chapathi)

Add garam masala and methi leaves, mix well and let come to simmer. Turn off heat, sprinkle cilantro and serve hot.

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Stove top Method:
Use a saute pan, add oil and heat slightly, about 15 seconds. Add ginger, garlic, all the spice powders and fry for 20 seconds. Toss in the tomatoes, salt, and cilantro, and top with about 1/2 cup water. Cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the tomatoes soften. Turn off saute, and transfer these contents into a blender to cool. Blend the mixture to a smooth sauce.

The beans need at least 2 hours of soaking in hot water since we are not pressure cooking it. Once the beans are soaked, cook the beans with at least 6 cups of water in a large pot of water that’s salted. Cover the pot and simmer for 45 mins to 1 hr until the beans are firm to touch, but completely cooked and tender.

In a large wide pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds. Once they start roasting/spluttering, add the onions. I like to use a mix of finely chopped and sliced onions. The chopped onions combine well with the curry and make the sauce thicker, the lengthwise sliced ones retain their shape and add texture to the dish.  Keep stirring and cooking the onions until they turn translucent, and start to brown. Add the tomato sauce mixture prepared, the cooked beans, garam masala, and methi leaves, mix well and let bring this mixture to a simmer over medium heat. (Now is when you can adjust the thickness of your gravy, add more water if you’d like this to have a soupy consistency, best served with rice. Leave it a bit thicker if you’re seeing it with naan or chapathi)

Turn off heat, sprinkle cilantro and serve hot.

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While serving this with some naan or chapatti and raita is a great combo, my personal favorite is make the gravy a bit on the thin side and serving this on a bed of piping hot fluffy basmati rice. I also usually add a side of fresh cool cucumbers and crunch potato chips. That is comfort food to me.

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