Black Eyed Peas and Coconut Curry

Black Eyed Peas and Coconut Curry is delicious Indian spiced dinner curry. This easy recipe can be made in electric pressure cooker like Instantpot or on the stovetop.

This gluten free and vegan curry is packaged with loads of flavors! You can use simple ingredients and whip up this curry in 30 minutes or less making it the ideal weeknight-dinner.

If you are wondering exactly what this curry tastes like, it is bursting with different flavors. It is savory, spicy, tangy and somewhat sweet. This coconut curry can be cooked entirely in one-pot. That means less dishes to clean. Presto!

Side angle close up photo of black-eyed peas curry with coconut. It is served along with rice.

You will love this hearty comforting vegetarian curry recipe. It is

  • Full of flavors and textures
  • Hearty and filling
  • Quick and easy to make
  • Vegan and Gluten Free
  • Affordable and budget friendly

This nutrient rich recipe provides excellent plant-based protein. There are turmeric and other healing herbs giving it super foods quality healthy quotient.

A hand holding a bowl full of rice, raddishes, pickle and curry.

RECIPE INSPIRATION :

Growing up, this curry used to be on our routine weekly dinner menu. Black eyed peas are called ‘chavali’ in Marathi language. This curry is also called ‘usal’.

“Chavali chi usal” is popular dry curry in Maharashtra region of India. Especially during the winter months, when fresh vegetables are scares, the beans and peas curries dominate the dinner scene.

WHY YOU SHOULD EAT BLACK EYED PEAS

We all know the popular belief that eating black-eyed peas brings you good luck. These beans offer a great dietary alternative if you are looking to cut meat consumption. Just one cup of black-eyed peas delivers nearly 20 % of the daily iron, calcium and magnesium.

According to Mayo Clinic, they are also very good source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Add in healthy fats of coconut and super nutrient properties of turmeric and you have one Golden Treasure Curry.

Traditionally in Indian cooking, a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds are often added while cooking any beans, lentils and legumes. It’s believed that fenugreek seeds help body break down the fiber better and thereby minimizing the digestive issues.

A ladle full of cooked black eyed peas with spices. These beans are cooked in Instantpot.

A NOTE ABOUT COCONUT USED IN THIS RECIPE 

I am using shredded frozen coconut to make this curry. You can also use fresh shredded coconut. Both these are easily available in most Asian and Indian food stores.

You can also use coconut milk instead. But the shredded coconut gives it nice and creamy soft bite. Don’t miss it.

If you have dry desiccated coconut (the one used for baking) soak it in 1/2 cup hot water and use both coconut and soaked water.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Serve this delectable curry with plain rice, quinoa, roti, naan, paratha or bread. You can also eat it as is or as a salad topping. I love to make it into Buddha Bowl by adding variety of fresh veggies around it.

The curry stays fresh for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. It can be used in lunch prep and work lunch boxes. It’s one of the dishes to make when you are craving comfort food. The creamy texture of the beans balance well with nutty, earthen flavors of coconut and spicy flavors.

INGREDIENTS

Black Eyed Peas : rinse, and soak in lukewarm water for 3-4 hours
Fenugreek Seeds : Skip if you don’t have them easily available. 
Coconut 
Fresh ingredients : Onion, tomato and ginger, lemon juice and cilantro for garnish
Spices : Cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, bay leaf, turmeric and red chili powder, garam masala

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS:

Set Instant Pot on medium on Sauté. After a minute add oil. Lift the main pan and slightly rotate around so oil coats the bottom of the pan evenly. It helps reduce the burn. Add in cumin and mustard seeds, ginger, onions and bay leaf. Sauté for few minutes till onions are tender. Add in the tomato and cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomatoes are softened.

Process collage showing steps involved in making Instantpot Curry.

Add coconut, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, salt and sugar and mix well. Add pre-soaked black-eyed peas and water. Mix well. Cancel sauté function. Close the lid of Instant Pot. Press MANUAL mode set on High Pressure for 10 minutes. Allow NPR (natural pressure release).

Open the lid. Add lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Give it a good stir so that all the ingredients are mixed well. Serve warm and enjoy.

Second process step collage showing the step by step instructions to make the curry recipe.

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A dinner serving of creamy black-eyed peas and coconut curry with rice, pickle, papad and fresh onion tomato salad.

Black Eyed Peas Coconut Curry - Instant Pot

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Black-eyed peas and coconut curry is a filling dinner curry full of flavors and healthy nutrients. You can make this weeknight dinner curry in Instantpot or on the stovetop. This affordable curry uses simple ingredients and gets done in 30 minutes.

Ingredients

For Seasoning and spices :

Instructions

Instantpot Directions:

Set Instant Pot on SAUTE mode. After a minute add oil. Lift the main pan and slightly rotate around so oil coats the bottom of the pan evenly. It helps reduce the burn. Add cumin and mustard seeds, ginger, onions and bay leaf. Sauté for few minutes till onions are tender. Add in the tomato and cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomatoes are softened.

Add coconut, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, salt and sugar and mix well. Add pre-soaked black-eyed peas and water. Mix well. Cancel sauté function. Close the lid of Instant Pot. Press MANUAL mode set on High Pressure for 10 minutes. Allow NPR (natural pressure release).

After the silver pin drops, open the lid. Add lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Give it a good stir so that all the ingredients are mixed well. Serve warm and enjoy.

Stovetop Directions:

Put a deep saucepan on medium heat. Add oil. Add in cumin and mustard seeds, ginger, onions, bay leaf. Sauté for few minutes till onions are tender. Add in the tomato and cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomatoes are softened.

Add coconut, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, salt and sugar and mix well. Add pre-soaked black-eyed peas and water. Mix well. Cover and let it cook on medium heat for at least 15 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure there is enough water.

When the black-eyed peas are fork tender and soft, turn off the heat. Add lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Give it a good stir so that all the ingredients are mixed well. Serve warm and enjoy.

Serve this curry with rice,roti’s, bread or use as salad topping over green salad.

Notes

Whenever I am making curry with beans, I prefer to mash some beans with spatula while stirring when they are cooked. The gravy in any curry gets awesome creamy and fullness from the mushed up beans. The gravy will thicken slightly and give a nice consistency and texture. You don't need to add any thickening agent or cream.

2) This recipe uses soaked black eyed peas. I often soak them fenugreek seeds . You can skip the fenugreek seeds if you don't have them easily available.

3) Cooking Chart and water ratio

SOAKED BLACK-EYED PEAS : 2 CUPS WATER TO 1 CUP SOAKED BLACK EYE PEAS, COOK FOR 10-15 MINUTES.

UN-SOAKED BLACK-EYED PEAS : 3 CUPS WATER TO 1 CUP UN-SOAKED BLACK EYE PEAS, COOK FOR 30-40 MINUTES.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 108mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 9gSugar: 11gProtein: 15g

Nutritional values are provided as a courtesy and the values are approximate. The values will change depending on the exact ingredients, measurements and brands used. As always, for specific health issues and dietary requirements please consult medical professional.

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This recipe was originally published on May 16, 2018. It was revised on June 30, 2020 with better photos and detail step by step pictures and nutritional information.

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