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Instant Pot Punjabi Lobia Masala Curry / Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas Curry
What is Black-eyed Peas or Lobia?The black-eyed pea, black-eyed bean or goat pea is a legume, a medium-sized, edible bean. It is found in most grocery stores across the U.S. in the beans isle. It is rich in calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals.What is Punjabi Lobia Masala Curry?In North India, black-eyed peas are called lobia or rongi. Rongi is typically cooked in a pressure cooker and is eaten with boiled white or brown rice. It is known as chawli in Mumbai, Maharashtra, that’s where I grew up.It used to be one of my favorite food growing up. Why? Well firstly, because it is delicious. Black-eyed peas on their own have a mild nutty, earthy taste, and a smooth, resilient texture. Secondly, with all the spices mixed in them and cooked under pressure it tastes divine. It is the perfect comfort food!How do we make Punjabi Lobia Masala Curry?It is simple to make in an Instant Pot. It is cooked like dal (lentils) or rajma (beans) with onions, tomatoes, and spices. The only thing I recommend is to soak it for 4 to 6 hours. Soaking is not essential for black-eyed peas as compared to red beans, or chickpeas. However, I prefer to soak all beans because I personally feel it reduces the cooking time and makes them tender. This recipe is based on soaking the black-eyed peas for about 4 hours.
- 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or oil of choice
- 1 dried bay leaf (tej patta)
- 2 whole cloves (laung)
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1/2 finely chopped onion (1/2 cup when chopped)
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste (fresh or packaged)
- 1 tsp red chili powder (ground cayenne pepper)
- 1 and 3/4 cups water
- 1.5 tsp ground coriander (dhaniya powder)
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (haldi)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin (jeera powder)
- 1 and 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 serrano pepper slit lengthwise into two halves (green chili pepper) (optional)
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 2 medium tomatoes pureed (1 and 1/2 cup pureed tomatoes)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (either fresh or bottled)
- 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped (dhainya ke patte)
- 1 cup dried black eyed peas soaked in 2 cups water for 4 hours
- Rinse the black-eyed peas a few times and soak them for about 4 hours in 2 cups of water. Discard the water when you are about to start cooking.
- Wash and chop the onions, cilantro, serrano pepper, and puree the tomatoes.
- Select sauté on the instant pot and adjust to normal.
- Add oil to pot.
- When the oil is hot, add the bay leaf and cloves.
- Next add cumin seeds.
- When the cumin seeds splutter in about 30 seconds add onions.
- When the onions turn golden in roughly 2 to 4 minutes add the ginger garlic paste.
- Then add chili powder along with 1/4 cup water, and stir.
- In about a minute, when the chili powder gives out color, add coriander, turmeric, cumin, salt, serrano pepper, and garam masala. Stir. Make sure the spices don’t burn. The serrano pepper is optional as it makes the curry very spicy.
- Then add tomatoes and let them sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. This step is key to let the tomatoes cook and get the raw odor out.
- Add the remaining 1 and 1/2 cups water and the black-eyed peas. Stir well. Make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot well.
- Press cancel.
- Secure the lid on the pot.
- Select manual and cook at high pressure for 25 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a natural release to depressurize. Open the lid.
- If there is excess gravy and if you like the consistency to be thick then select sauté and let some gravy evaporate. It should take about 1 to 2 minutes. Keep stirring so that the gravy doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Mash some black-eyed peas with the back of a ladle to reach the desired consistency.
- When done add lemon juice and stir.
- Transfer in a serving bowl immediately. Discard the bay leaf.
- Garnish with cilantro.
- Enjoy with steamed rice or rotis.
- This recipe has been tried on a 6-quart instant pot. The proportions may vary depending on the size of the instant pot you choose to use.
- Ground cayenne pepper and red chili powder can be used interchangeably as both of them make the dish spicy. So if you don’t have red chili powder you can use cayenne pepper instead.
- Tip: Add a pinch of baking soda to soften the lobia while pressure cooking. Sometimes if the lobia is old it takes a long time to cook and baking soda helps soften it.