Saturday, June 13, 2015


Being a pure vegetarian, I make sure my family gets all the nutrients   in the form of lentils, legumes, fruits, vegetables, greens, etc.  As anything from legume family is healthful, at least once in week I try to include legumes in meal.  I have derived this habit from my Mom.  She is a perfect planner as far as the meal is concerned and  is very careful in feeding a complete nutritious food prepared from her kitchen. 

When I say this, my mind runs back to my childhood days where we were just a small monthly income based middle class family.  When fathers goes outside to work for bread and butter,  Mom took care of the complete household works.  She goes to market, prepares food, does the cleaning stuff, spends time with us, spends time for herself with her friends; indeed a perfect planner.  She is too old today and every single wrinkle of her denotes her dedication for the family.    

This recipe is made of boiled black-eyed cowpeas in thin tamarind sauce adding necessary spice powders.  I have seen both white eyed and black-eyed cowpeas but I read in somewhere that black-eyed cowpeas are having more nutrients than white ones, they are rich in protein, a healthy alternate to meat or other animal protein.  I learnt this recipe from DH who hails from Chettinad.  Chettinad is a region in the southern part of Tamilnadu and it is known for its delectable cuisine.  I like the way when DH describes how the food needs to be cooked though he never enters the kitchen or indulge in cooking.  

Black-eyed cowpeas - 2 cups
Onion - 2 (cut in thin slice)
Tomato - 2
Garlic pods - few
Drumstick/Moringa  -  10 pieces (Cut into 2" length)
Brinjal/Eggplant - 4
Small lemon sized tamarind (Soaked in warm water) or Tamarind Sauce
Sambar powder - 2 tablespoon
Salt  - To taste

To Temper:
Mustard seeds
Fenugreek seeds
Bengal gram dhal
Curry leaves
Red chilly -2

1. Dry roast black-eyed cowpeas until a nice aroma comes out of it.  Pressure cook then for 3 whistles with little water and salt.  Take care not to make it mushy, else it will spoil the taste and look of the dish.

 2. In a thick bottomed pan, add little oil, throw in the tempering ingredients one by one.  Then add onion and tomato. 

3.  Once the tomatoes have turned mushy,  add the cut vegetables (drumstick and brinjal), add necessary salt.  At this stage, add the sambar powder and mix well. 

4.  Adding the powder at this stage will bring a nice color to the dish.  Sambar powder can be replaced with red chilli powder and dhaniya powder.  As I prepare homemade sambar powder, I prefer to use that.
5.  Meanwhile extract the juice from the soaked tamarind pulp.  
 6. Add the extracted tamarind sauce to the vegetable .  Transfer the contents to a vessel and let this boil until the vegetables are cooked well.

7.  Add boiled blacked eyed cowpeas to the gravy and let it boil for another 5 minutes.  Switch off the stove and serve this with cooked rice.  

8. Switch off the stove and serve this with cooked rice. 

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