Black-Eyed Pea Sambar

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
My readers can expect many more recipes for black-eyed peas in this space as I have a dear friend who could probably eat these delightful legumes everyday. This recipe was made with homemade sambar powder. Sambars are typically the first course in a South Indian meal. Thick and spicy, often made with tamarind, I made mine with cooked dals. Serve over basmati rice for a most satisfying summer meal or any time of year. Such a staple food is sure to be enjoyed by all who appreciate the creative blends that make up Indian cuisine.

It is a civic holiday here in Canada, and that means the doozers took a day off. What a relief for the neighborhood.
Black-Eyed Pea Sambar

1/4 cup of toor dal
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 cup of dry black-eyed peas
1 small onion, chopped
1 large tomato, diced
2 tablespoons of ghee, or a mixture of butter and oil
1/2 teaspoon of asafoetida powder
2 - 3 whole red dried chilies, broken into bits
1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of urad dal
2 teaspoons of sambar powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 5.5 ounce tin of tomato paste
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 cup of corn
1/4 cup of fresh coriander or parsley, chopped

Soak the black-eyed peas in enough water to cover overnight. Drain, transfer to a medium-large pot, along with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover and cook until the beans are tender - about 40 - 60 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium-large saucepan. Add the toor dal and a 1/2 teaspoon of the turmeric. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook until the dal is creamy - roughly 20 - 30 minutes. Set aside without draining.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add the asafoetida, red chili peppers, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and urad dal. Stir and fry until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the onion, garlic and tomato to the pan, along with a dash of turmeric powder and the sambar powder and salt. Stir well and add the tomato paste, again stirring well to combine.

Now add the cooked toor dal and the liquid, along with an addition 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and add the black-eyed peas. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for roughly 5 - 10 minutes to blend the flavours. Stir in the corn and coriander (or parsley) and simmer for another few minutes. Add more water if you want a thinner sambar and simmer for another few minutes.

Other black-eyed pea dishes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen you will be sure to enjoy:
Black-Eyed Peas with Spices and Herbs
Black-Eyed Peas with Fenugreek and Tomatoes
Black-Eyed Pea and Quinoa Croquettes
Black-Eyed Peas with Mustard, Cumin and Curry Leaves

On the top of the reading stack: The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo

Audio Accompaniment: Lawn mowers (no peace from noise!)


Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

wow, that is a great idea of using black eyed peas in sambhar and lovely presentation.

Jacqueline said...

Thank goodness you are getting a break from all that racket! This dish looks lovely Lisa and your rice is so fluffy.

Curry Leaf said...

Wow,never tried Sambar with blackeyed peas.Looks great Lisa

Chef Gulzar said...


I read your article.great idea, interesting post, really helpful..
This dish looks lovely Lisa and your rice is so fluffy.thanks for sharing this.
Gulzar Husain

Sarah S. said...

I'm with your friend on black-eyed peas. I have never tried them in Indian dishes, needless to say this is moving directly to the top of my to-try list.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Wow....that's an yummy sambar to give it a try...

kitty said...

I made this tonight! Serendipitously enough, I was in the mood for black-eyed peas, and had a free morning to make the sambar powder, so this turning up in my blog reader was great. My only changes to the recipe as written were to add a bit more garlic, and chuck in about the same amount of fresh peas along with the corn. It's very, very good. Thank you!

MapMaster said...

Love this dish

Usha said...

Love the idea of using black eyed peas in sambar, looks very inviting!

AnitaShesConnected said...

Amazing! Sambar is so delish and the use of black eyed peas sounds like such a great way to enrich the flavour!