Saturday, November 02, 2013

Recipe : Maharashtrian Chawli Usal / Lobia / Black Eyed Peas Curry - Vegan

I was bored of eating lobia / chawli / black eyed peas, the normal way that I make it (like a Punjabi channa masala style), I'd also been craving coconut for awhile (growing up, all 3 meals had coconut in some form or the other), so a Maharahtrian Konkani recipe seemed like the perfect fit. Spicy and coco-nutty.

This recipe is an amalgamation of remembered flavours (from my days living in Bombay & Pune) and some online help. I made the usal much thicker than is normally served in Marathi restaurants and ideally, I would have liked to cook the tomatoes much more, which I shall do the next time I repeat this dish (this recipe is corrected to add the tomatoes earlier, if you prefer your tomatoes slightly raw, add the tomatoes to the mix when adding the cooked beans).

It does take a little time to prepare and has multiple steps, but the final product is worth it.

Ingredients :
250gms lobia / chawli / black eyed peas (soaked overnight with a pinch of asafoetida)
2 tsp oil (Sesame/til or sunflower, don't use mustard)
3 medium onions

1.5- 2 inch ginger
6 - 10 garlic cloves
2 tbsp saunf / fennel seeds
1.5 tbsp corriander (dhania seeds) or  1 tbsp corriander powder
half a grated coconut - fresh or frozen (roughly about 1 cup)
2 tbsp dessicated coconut (this adds a second texture, but it is optional)
1 tomato chopped1 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tsps red chilli powder
1 tsp Maharashtrian masala (goda or malvani) or any garam/vegetable masala (if you can't get your hands on the Maharashtrian masalas)
1 handful chopped corriander for garnishing

Method :
Pressure cook the soaked lobia / chawli / black eyed peas in enough water to cover + a little more.
You can either drain and discard the water or use the liquid when making the usal. I prefer to use it.

To make the masala, take the pan that you plan to cook the usal in (large enough)
Heat 1 tsp oil
Add 2 chopped onions and fry till translucent.
Add ginger and garlic and fry till they start releasing their aroma.
Add fennel seeds and coriander seeds (if using powders add them at the end in the blender, not now) and fry till they crisp up.
Add the fresh and dessicated coconut and roast on a low flame (coconut burns quickly, so keep an eye on it)

Turn off the heat when the coconut turns golden brown
Cool the mixture and then grind it fine (some restaurants serve it slightly grainy).

In the empty pan, heat the other tsp of oil.
Add the remaining chopped onion and tomato and fry till cooked.
Now add the ground masala and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the spice powders.

Stir well and add the pressure cooked lobia / chawli / black eyed peas.
If you are using the water that you cooked the chawli in (it may be black in colour, don't worry about it), be careful how much water you add to the pan.
Add salt to taste and bring it to a low simmer.
Keep cooking on a low flame until the ingredients are all cooked and the chawli has absorbed the flavours.
Garnish with chopped fresh corriander.

Serve hot with steamed rice or phulkas / rotis

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails