Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Poricha Kuzhambu II (Black-eyed Peas & Veggie Stew With Coconut)

Here is a wonderful Poricha Kuzhambu for the New Year with the lucky and delicious black eyed peas! I felt very lucky to have a stash of black-eyed peas in my pantry as I love their flavor and wanted to make something new for the New Year with them. The young pods as well as the freshly shelled black-eyed peas make a wonderful addition if you are lucky to find them. Here's to a very Happy and Healthy New Year, everyone!

Use a combination from the following list of vegetables for best taste as well as nutrition - green bananas, zucchini, carrots, green beans, green Lima beans, Edamame, Opo/Chayote squash, Sprouted beans or peas, other mild flavored veggies, etc. Other beans such as val, red chori, white or brown chick peas, etc may be used in place of/in addition to the black-eyed peas. Click here for more information on poricha kuzhambus and a traditional time-tested version with roasted ingredients.

4 - 6 Servings


1 cup Black Eyed Peas
4 cups Assorted Vegetables
11/2 tsp Sea Salt or to taste
1/2 tsp Turmeric

2 or 3 dry Red Peppers (to taste)
1 Tbsp Whole Cumin Seeds
1/2 cup fresh coconut (1/3 cup dry unsweetened)
1 tsp uncooked rice

2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp Urad dal
1 or 2 dry red pepper
1 Tbsp grated Coconut (optional)
1 stalk Fresh Curry Leaves, stripped off the stems and chopped


1. Sort the peas for stones or debris. Wash well and soak for a few hours. Cook the peas in fresh water to cover until very soft. Decant the broth from them to use for cooking the veggies.

2. Make the masala while peas are cooking: Finely grind together the coconut, cumin seeds, chilies and rice using a blender using a little of water as needed to make blending feasible.

3. Prepare the veggies: Wash and dry them. Peel the green banana with a potato peeler - only the top green layer of the skin need be peeled. Remove stem and blossom ends of zucchini, cucumber and beans and trim both ends of bananas, carrots, and parsnips. Cut all the veggies into 1/2" cubes; they should all be approximately of the same size so that they all cook evenly.

4. Place the bananas in about 1 cup of water/pea broth with the salt and turmeric and bring to a boil. Add the rest of the veggies, bring to a boil again and simmer until veggies are just tender.

5. Turn up the heat and stir in the ground masala into the veggies - rinse the blender container with a few tablespoons of water to extract all of the masala and pour into the veggies. Bring to a good rolling boil.

6. Stir in the cooked peas; this is the time to check the consistency of the kuzhambu and add hot water as necessary. Bring to a boil again and adjust the salt if you are adding extra water and turn off the heat.

7. Prepare tadka: heat the oil in a small pan and add chilies, mustard seeds, and urad dal; when the mustard seeds pop and the dal turns pink, stir in the coconut and cook until golden. Place the curry leaves on top of the kuzhambu and pour the hot tadka over the curry leaves.

8. Stir gently but thoroughly, cover and let rest for a few minutes for the flavors to mingle.

9. Serve hot or warm. Delicious served over rice or with breads and accompanied by piquant bitter melon and okra pachadi, Tamarind, Tomato, or Bell pepper chutney or Lemon pickles. Enjoy!

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