Blackeye Bean Curry + Updating Aloo Gobi

Blackeye Bean Curry, with fragrant rice

Blackeye Bean Curry

It was either a case of going with a 400g (14.10 oz) pack of lamb mince, which is the smallest pack I can get my hands on, to make spicy burgers or go with lots of vegan suitable curries this weekend. So I went with the latter, including this Blackeye Bean Curry. Quite often I catch myself staring at the rows of canned legumes in one of the local stores almost as if I’m hoping for inspiration. Then, I’d noticed a recipe on here recently for blackeye beans or black-eyed peas with roasted tomato sauce, one of the few beans I never use as I’ve never known what to do with them. And I certainly didn’t realise they’re so popular within Indian cuisine. So I went with using my techniques and this happened to turn out fruity. Which surprised me. Out of curiosity I went online and found the correct name for this dish, which is Alasandalu kura in most cases, and to my delight mine is pretty much along the same tracks. Except for mustard seeds that I’m going to stock up on this week at the small International store – lets hope I don’t leave there with a large carrier bag stuffed to overflowing. Yes, I’m like that with spices and anything dried. As for the fragrant rice that’s going to be a separate post as my first attempt needs tweaked. I’ve ran out of dried apricots which I definitely want to include, and the leeks need to be caramelised and served on top with flaked almonds and pumpkin seeds. In the photos there’s pan-fried broccoli florets and peas as well. With lemon juice, zest and single/light cream (melted coconut cream or milk for vegans) and hopefully coriander/cilantro or parsley it should be almost a meal in itself. Kind of excited about developing further recipes for fragrant rice dishes for warmer months. Anyway, there are going to be more step-by-step photos, eventually. Uploading right now is taking far too long, and that’s with using two differing browsers. For the potato and cauliflower dry curry recipe please click: Aloo gobi.

Blackeye Bean Curry

Blackeye Bean Curry


  • oil
  • 200g (7.05 oz) x onions, halved, peeled, trimmed, sliced through to near their root end, turned and sliced crossways into thin strips – once they’re nicely caramelised they can be mashed slightly with a fork
  • 1 x dried bay leaf, split
  • 1 x beefsteak or beef tomato, washed and cut into quarters
  • 2 x garlic cloves, peeled, trimmed and crushed
  • 1/2 - 3/4 x teaspoon freshly peeled and grated ginger, more to personal taste (start off with less and add more)
  • 1 x tablespoon tomato purée
  • 1 x 300g or 175g drained weight (10.58 or 6.17 oz drained) blackeye beans, drained and well rinsed
  • 1 x teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 x teaspoon turmeric, less or more to personal taste
  • 1 x heaped teaspoon cumin seeds, dry roasted and ground
  • 1 x heaped teaspoon coriander seeds, dry roasted and ground
  • 1/4 - 1/2 x teaspoon cayenne pepper, less or more to personal taste
  • up to 100ml (0.21 US pt lqd) x water
  • seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.


  • Put a heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 3 and when hot pour in a little oil. Add the onions with the bay leaf, put on a lid and leave for about 10 – 15 minutes, take off the lid and after stirring through do keep an eye on them as they can scorch. Reduce heat to No 2, add a splash of water to prevent them from drying out and continue to cook until they’re nicely and evenly golden. Take off heat.
  • Put a separate pan on heat No 2 and when hot add a little oil with the tomato quarters. Put on a lid and like the onions allow to cook for about 10 minutes before removing lid. Continue to cook, add a splash of water if necessary, until the tomatoes are nicely caramelised and soft. Take off heat and set aside.
  • Put a large heavy-based saucepan on heat No 3, add a little oil when hot and add the rinsed blackeye beans/black-eyed peas and stir through the occasional time. Add the mustard seeds and take off heat.
  • Put a small pan on heat No 1 for the coriander and cumin seeds. Allow up to 5 minutes for their fragrance to release. Grind both to a powder and set aside.
  • When the onions have caramelised put them back on heat No 1, push them to the sides and add the garlic and half of the ginger. If pan is too hot take off heat as both can scorch. Add the tomato purée and give that several minutes off heat. Put back on low heat and rub the caramelised tomato quarters through a fine wire metal sieve with a wooden spoon, collecting all of the purée from underneath. Add a splash of water to the pan that cooked the tomato, swirl or swish the water around and grab all of that sticky sediment and add to the onion mixture. Taste for any extra needed freshly grated ginger.
  • After grinding the coriander and cumin seeds add those to the blackeye beans on heat No 3, after pushing them to the sides. Add the turmeric and about half of the cayenne pepper to start off with. Allow less than a minute to infuse before stirring through. Add the tomato and onion mixture, stir well and bring to near boiling point, adding more water if necessary. Taste for any extra needed cayenne and or freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.


Caramelising the onions.

Using about half a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger to begin with. I then added almost the same again, after cooking the tomato sauce, to be able to detect its flavour.

Adding some of the freshly grated ginger and the crushed garlic to the caramelised onions on lowest heat setting. If pan is too hot take off heat as both can scorch.

After taking pan off heat tomato purée is added, with the heat of the pan enough to cook out its rawness without scorching.

Getting the blackeye beans nicely sautéed.

The mustard seeds would be added and allowed to splutter before adding the other spices. Pan can be taken off heat so the spices don’t scorch.

Adding the onion and tomato mixture to the beans and spices.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Kitschnflavours:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny Hepburn

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    • Thanks! There aren’t so many spices used, which is why I was curious enough to research this online. I would still like to find a Northern Indian recipe as that might be spicier. Besides, I’m having the usual probs with chillies. To the extent I may buy dried and try to reconstitute those, like you do with mushrooms, and use the liquor.

    • Thanks. I’m not enjoying trying to upload so many photos! Although, I do like the fact I’m getting better step-by-step photos by using an upside down measuring jug on the hob to steady my camera. They’re usually too blurry to use otherwise.

  1. Pingback: Dhaba Style Aloo Gobi (Potato Cauliflower Curry ) | cookingwithsapana

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