Sunday, January 15, 2012

Black-eyed peas with Daikon Radish

Since last year, V and I have been trying to follow some basic rules to eat healthy, one of which is to prepare soups, stews, kormas or curries with a variety of beans or lentils as one of our staple meals for the week.   We cook over the weekend and make enough to last us at least till Thursday.

When we make beans (black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, red kidney beans, adzuki, etc.), we soak them in slightly warm water overnight, discard the water and then pressure cook it with a pinch of turmeric.   It is important to soak the beans before cooking to neutralize the anti-nutrients they contain.  For soups or stews, it is good to throw in a piece of kombu in the soaking water but that doesn't work too well for Indian dishes.    The same applies for brown rice which has replaced white rice and wheat at our place - we soak it for a whole day in warmish water, discard the water and then pressure cook.  Apparently it is beneficial to add a tablespoon of fermented yogurt during the soaking process, but we keep forgetting to do this.

Coming to today's recipe, V and I fell in love with the "koottu" that amma had made during her visit with black-eyed peas and white pumpkin (ashgourd).   Koottu is a South Indian stew made with any type of lentils and vegetables and is usually eaten with rice.  Most often it is made with split dehusked moong daal (payatham paruppu).  I have since then re-created amma's recipe with other vegetables like chayote squash and it turns out equally delicious.

Yesterday, I soaked a cup of black-eyed peas at night without giving it too much thought, fully intending to use amma's recipe again with the wonderful fresh daikon that I had in the fridge.  However, V changed my game plan and found a new recipe in one of our favorite cookbooks.  Cooking at home with Pedatha is one of those cookbooks that is a pleasure to use, since it has gorgeous pictures and recipes that produce consistently good results.   We always turn to this book if we want a slight variation from our regular Tamilian cooking.   Pedatha recipes are from Andhra (a neighboring state in Southern India) and believe it or not, the subtle differences in the preparation of the same basic dishes result in a huge difference to the palate!

I adapted the recipe titled "Brinjal Pasty Vegetable" and substituted the brinjal with daikon radish, but mostly followed the original recipe otherwise.

Recipe for Black-eyed peas with Daikon Radish
Recipe adapted from "Cooking at Home with Pedatha" by Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain

1 cup black-eyed peas
1 medium daikon radish, chopped in to medium-sized cubes
Ginger, 1 inch piece grated
Green chilies, 3-4 slit
1 Tbsp Safflower / Canola Oil
Salt to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Pinch Turmeric

For tempering:
1 tsp mustard seeds
3 tsps urad daal (split black gram)
2 dry red chilies
Pinch asafoetida (hing / perungaayam)
1 sprig Curry leaves

  1. Soak the black-eyed peas overnight in 2-3 cups of water.  Drain the water.  Add about a cup of water, and the turmeric and pressure cook.
  2. In a pan, heat the oil.  Add the mustard seeds.  When they sputter, add the urad daal and red chilies.  When the urad daal is golden brown, add the asafoetida, red chilies and curry leaves.  Finally add the split green chilies.
  3. Add the cubed daikon, sprinkle about 4 Tbsps of water, add a pinch of turmeric, cover and cook on low until it is soft.  Coarsely mash if desired.
  4. Add the cooked black-eyed peas, grated ginger and salt and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes.   (Add more water with the black-eyed peas if it is too thick for your taste.)
  5. Garnish with cilantro and serve with brown rice or rotis.
This is my entry for the January challenge at Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen, a wonderful blog with great Indian vegetarian recipes.


Anonymous said...

Excellent recipe. We will definitely try it out this weekend.

J. T. Hutt.

Lisa said...

Thanks so much for this lovely recipe. I will give it a try.

V S said...

Yay for the pics and the recipe.

V S said...

Lovely pics and yay for the pedatha cookbook!