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September 26, 2011 / beatricebunny

Black Eyed Peas with Mushroom Curry

Tonight for dinner I am making my favorite recipe from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer, black-eyed Pea and Mushroom curry.  I first made this incredible dish last year.  It was the first dish from the cookbook and tried, and my husband and I enjoyed it so much that it was the only recipe from the book that I made until last week.  I am slightly embarrassed by this fact.   The recipe, also known as dhingri lobhia, is touted as a good choice for recent vegetarians who miss the richness of meat.  Since I make it so often, I have traversed fairly fair from the actual recipe in the book.  The main changes I make are pretty basic- I tend to recipe the title ingredients with whatever beans and mushrooms are in season and available at the Farmer’s Market.  Tonight, I will indeed be using black-eyed peas, but I will replace the cremini mushrooms with oyster mushrooms from the market.  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve used purple hull beans, field peas, some bean I could not identify and shiitake and portabella mushrooms.   This quick vegetarian meal is a week night staple in our house.

The recipe calls for 1 cup of dried beans.  I use fresh beans when possible- 16 oz equals 1 cup dried.  You just boil them in water and then retain 1 cup of the cooking water to keep the curry from being dry.  The other ingredients are:

2 tablespoons of canola oil
8 ounces of cremini mushrooms
1.5 teaspoons of sea salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

Cook the beans.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mushrooms.  Cook them until they start to shrivel and brown (5-10 minutes).  Add the seasoning, spices, and cilantro to the mushrooms, using the mushrooms as a “cushion” to protect the spices from direct heat.  Set aside until the peas are done.  Add the mushroom to the peas (first drain peas to only about a cup of liquid).  Deglaze the mushroom pan with a little bit of the bean water, add back to beans and mushrooms.  Simmer over medium heat another 15 minutes to combine flavors.  Serve immediately.

I guess technically you could serve this over rice or orzo, but we always just eat it straight up with a slice of good bread and a glass of robust red wine.  Perfect on a Monday night.

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