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.
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.