The first day of Spring (the Vernal Equinox) is a day of balance with equal hours in the day and night. Spring time feels like a new beginning, a fresh start in life… almost feels like I had hibernated the whole of winter. Everything slows down during the dark cold months, come LIGHT  and a new energy infuses my very cells, and here I am feeling energized to try new recipes.

Spring is a season when little buds sprout on tree branches, birds return home, the sun shines brightly down at us chasing what is left of the dark cold winter within our bones, when a sense of joy fills the air. In the southern states here in the U.S, cowpeas or black- eyed beans is still considered soul food  and is associated with good luck .An American hip hop band is named after it,and  it certainly has its place in the Culinary chart of the globe being initially domesticated in West Africa, consumed widely in Egypt, Vietnam, Greece, Turkey etc.In the North Indian state of Punjab, the same black eyed bean is called “Lobia” a favorite comfort food consumed regularly by it’s people. I learnt  this recipe, from a Punjabi friend, who taught me how to sprout these beans overnight to make this finger licking good curry from the black eyed beans, which can then be eaten with flat breads, the way it is done in the land with song and dance around a bonfire to celebrate the harvest season.In the south of India it is called “Thatta Payiru” and is cooked in tamarind sauce and coconut gratings, the North Indian version does not use either of these, yet the dish turns out to be finger-licking good ! These healthy legumes,  sprouted overnight are a rich source of proteins (13.22g), calcium (41 mg) folate (356 mg), fiber (11.1 g) and Vitamin- A (26 IU), among other nutrients. All the nutrition for less than 200 Calories, in a 171-g, one-cup serving, why would you not try it ? A balanced diet is what we aim for each day in our food intake, try this recipe out, you will be a fan forever ! 



Recipe by Maya Shetty
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Prep time

Cooking time



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  • 2 cup lobia/black eyed beans/cow peas

  • 1/2 inch piece ginger finely chopped

  • 2 -3 medium garlic cloves finely chopped

  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped

  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 5 -6 green chilies, chopped

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder/haldi

  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder

  • 1 tsp garam masala powder

  • 1 tsp coriander powder

  • 5 cups water

  • 2 tbsp oil

  • Salt to taste

  • Coriander leaves to garnish


  • Soak the “Lobia”/Black Eyed Peas/Cowpeas overnight or for a few hours. drain and rinse the “Lobia” with water, drain and keep aside.
  • Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle in the warm oil.
  • Then add the chopped onions.
  • Stir and saute till the onions become translucent.
  • Add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies. saute till the raw aroma of the ginger and garlic goes away.
  • Then add the chopped tomatoes and stir.
  • Next add the all the dry spices – turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
  • Stir and saute the masala on a low flame, till the tomatoes become soft and the entire tomato-onion mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan or cooker (this cooking method is called as “bhunao” in punjabi and takes some time)
  • Now add the Lobia or black eyed beans. stir well.
  • Then add 5 cups water and add salt to taste.
  • Stir the “Lobia” and keep covered in the pressure cooker until 3-4 whistles.Soaking it overnight or for 2-3 hours, will take less time to cook. The “lobia” should be soft to touch and can be easily pressed with one’s fingers or get mashed easily, to check if its cooked well.
  • Once the Lobia beans are cooked, simmer the gravy without the lid so that it gets thickened.
  • You can also mash a few cooked beans to thicken the gravy.
  • The consistency of the Lobia masala gravy is neither thin nor thick.
  • Lastly add 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and give a final stir. You could also garnish Lobia masala with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve Punjabi Lobia Masala with rotis /Flat breads or steamed rice
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

  • Amount Per ServingCalories200
  • % Daily Value *
  • Protein 13.22g 26%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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