Black Eyed Peas Curry in Instant Pot step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Black-eyed peas curry is a delicious and healthy vegan curry made with black-eyed beans or cowpeas. This meatless curry is perfect for winter nights and is good for meal prep too. When made in an Instant Pot, it is ready in 30 minutes with less than 15 minutes of hands-on time.
The recipe I am sharing here is the South Indian version of the curry and is from the Mangalore region in Karnataka. This popular Mangalore-style gassi has a unique masala paste made with spices, onion, tomato, and coconut. It is creamy, spicy, unique, and very different from any regular lobia masala curry.
Black-eyed peas are a popular legume that is popularly used in Indian cooking. They are also popular as cowpeas or black-eyed peas. It is called lobia in Hindi, alasandi kaalu in Kannada, kala vatana in Marathi, vellai karamani in Tamil, and bobbarulu guggullu in Telugu.
These nutrient-dense beans are rich in protein, fiber, and micronutrients. They are known to help with weight management, lower cholesterol, and help with digestive health. They have a low glycemic index which helps you stay full and satiated for longer. This unique coconut-based curry is a great way to enjoy this healthy legume.
Read of for ingredients, cooking times, meal prep options, and step-by-step instructions to make this delicious vegan curry.
Black-eyed peas: Dried peas are used in this dish, which is soaked and cooked (see tips section below).
Spinach: Spinach is an optional ingredient but I highly recommend using it. Both frozen and fresh spinach works for this dish.
Masala base: A masala paste is prepared using spices, coconut, onion, tomato, green chili, garlic, and tamarind. The whole spices I use are cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, and dried red chili. The whole spices can be replaced with powdered spices.
Coconut milk: This adds richness to the curry.
Tempering: (Seasoning/tadka) A tadka is prepared using coconut oil, mustard seeds, and curry leaves.
1. In a mixie jar or grinder, take coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, dried red chili, and rice. Grind into a fine powder.
2. To this powder, add onion, tomato, green chili, tamarind, garlic, coconut, turmeric powder, and jaggery. Add little water and grind into a smooth paste.
3. Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and heat coconut oil. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
4. Next, add curry leaves and the ground paste.
5. Mix well and saute for 3 minutes (until the spices are cooked).
6. Add coconut milk and deglaze the pot.
7. Add the soaked peas along with spinach, salt, and 3 cups of water.
8. Mix well and secure the lid of the IP. Set the IP in pressure cook mode for 8 minutes (see notes for cooking times).
9. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release of the pressure.
Cooking time depends on soaking time. See the table below to adjust the cooking time.
I have used 1½ cups of dried peas in this recipe. After soaking it, I get 4 cups of soaked peas. You can adjust the amount as per your preference.
When making the masala paste, grind the dry whole spices first and then add the other wet ingredients and water. This will ensure the whole spices are ground into a fine powder. Alternatively, you may replace the whole spices with powdered spices and grind everything together.
A small amount of rice is used in the masala paste. This adds thickness to the curry. You can replace it with rice flour.
I use coconut oil to make this curry. However, you can replace it with any cooking oil of your choice.
I have used frozen spinach (without defrosting it) and it works very well. You can replace it with fresh spinach.
I add approximately 2 cups of frozen spinach (8 oz). Adjust the amount of spinach as per your preference.
This dish is great for meal prep. Make the masala base beforehand and store it. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days and can be frozen for up to three months. Soak the peas or just adjust the cooking time (see below). This way, the curry will be ready in no time.
You can use canned beans for this dish. In that case, pressure cook the curry for 2 minutes and do a quick release of the pressure (see the table below).
Click here for my collection of Instant Pot Indian curries.
Adjusting cooking time for black-eyed peas
Here is a guide to adjusting the cooking time for black-eyed peas depending on the soaking time.
|Soaking Time||Cooking time for firm beans||Cooking Time for softer beans|
|No soaking||25 minutes||30 minutes|
|1-2 hours||15 minutes||18 minutes|
|4-6 hours||12 minutes||15 minutes|
|Over 8 hours (or overnight)||5 minutes||8 minutes|
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I prefer to soak them before cooking. This not only reduces the cooking time but also helps remove the phytates. However, if you have not planned ahead, you can use dried peas instead. See the table above to adjust the cooking times of black-eyed peas.
No, they are not the same bean. Black-eyed peas are a popular legume that is popularly used in Indian cooking. They are also popular as cowpeas or black-eyed peas. It is called lobia in Hindi, alasandi kaalu in Kannada, kala vatana in Marathi, vellai karamani in Tamil, and bobbarulu guggullu in Telugu. Black peas are cooked purple podded peas that are popular in the UK.
Yes. Brown chickpeas (kala chana) work very well for this dish. It also tastes good with lima beans. Keep in mind that the cooking time will vary if the beans are changed.
This black-eyed peas curry is:
- vegan and gluten-free
- healthy, nutritious, and delicious
- good source of plant-based protein
- unique and different from regular curries
Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas Curry
- 1½ cups black eyed peas
- 2 cups spinach fresh or frozen (8 oz)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Salt to taste
- 3 cups water
For the masala base
- ½ cup coconut fresh or frozen
- 2 teaspoon rice
- 1½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 4-5 dried red chili (mild version)
- 1 small piece tamarind
- 1 medium onion
- 1 medium tomato
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1-2 green chili
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon jaggery
For the tempering
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 10 curry leaves
- Soak the black-eyed peas in water for 8 hours or overnight (see tips section above)
- In a mixie jar or grinder, take coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, dried red chili, and rice. Grind into a fine powder
- To this powder, add onion, tomato, green chili, tamarind, garlic, coconut, turmeric powder, and jaggery. Add little water and grind into a smooth paste. Set it aside
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and heat coconut oil
- Add mustard seeds and let them splutter
- Next, add curry leaves and the ground paste
- Mix well and saute for 3 minutes (until the spices cook)
- Add coconut milk and deglaze the pot
- Drain the water from the soaked beans
- Add it along with spinach and 3 cups of water to the pot
- Mix well and secure the lid of the IP
- Set the IP in pressure cook mode for 8 minutes (see notes for cooking times)
- Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release of the pressure
- Mix well and serve hot