My Grandmother Doris was from Missouri and moved out west after the family farm failed during the Dust Bowl. So, why is it that I never, until my adult years, wrapped my lips around a black-eyed pea? Guess she just didn’t like them or something… Once I tried them, I was sold. As it turns out, there is a good reason that there are so many of these suckers grown and eaten every year.
Black-eyed peas are creamy in texture, musky in taste and take a variety of spice additions in stride. They provide a really nice addition to your legume repertoire. Combine this with some mushrooms sautéed in spice and you have an almost meaty dish. I scabbed this recipe from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. Really excellent book, especially if you like legume and vegetarian curries and aren’t reliant on photos.
To prepare this curry I use a pressure cooker to cook the beans, since it is eliminates the need for soaking and extended cooking times. The pressure cooker that I settled on was the Fagor 8-Quart Stainless-Steel Pressure Cooker. It is easy to maintain and has a ton of safety features; gets me away from that “I am using a bomb in my kitchen” feeling. It takes only 20 minutes to fully cook the beans and another 10 to blend the sautéed mushrooms and spices; making this a very approachable dish. If you cook a lot of legumes or simply want to use them more in your cooking, but hate the preparation time, a “personal autoclave” is something that you should just break down and buy.
- 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
- 2 Tbs canola oil
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1½ tsp coarse salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Rinse beans and place in pressure cooker with 2½ cups water. Bring to boil, seal and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool until pressure subsides.
- While beans are cooking, slice the mushrooms and heat the oil in a medium skillet on medium high heat. Saute the mushrooms until they begin to brown; about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the spices and cook another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When beans are done, add mushroom mixture and cook over medium high heat until combined, about 8 to 10 minutes. Moisture should have cooked off, leaving a thickened, saucy dish. Add cilantro during final minute or two of cooking.