Instant pot black-eyed peas curry is a healthy Indian curry made with black-eyed peas, onion, tomato, and Indian spices.
This popular north Indian lobia curry can be made quickly in the instant pot with minimal preparation and steps involved.
It is vegan, gluten-free and can be served with rice, millet, quinoa, or Indian flatbread.
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- What is Black Eyed Peas Curry or Lobia Masala
- Health Benefits of Black Eyed Peas
- How to make Black Eyed Peas Curry without an Instant Pot
- Is it necessary to soak the dried Black Eyed Peas
- Possible Variations in the Recipe
- Pot-in-Pot Rice and Curry in the Instant Pot
- Preparation to be done
- Step-by-Step Method
My weekly meal plan includes different types of lentils and legumes on a daily basis.
We absolutely love and swear by these for our vegetarian protein.
Black-eyed peas, known as lobia in Hindi, and alasande in Kannada, is one of our favourite legumes.
They taste delicious, not too heavy on the stomach, and can be cooked in so many different ways.
While lobia curry is a popular Punjabi dish, this instant pot black eyed peas curry is my version of it.
I bought the very popular Instant Pot recently, and could not wait to try this recipe in it and share it on the blog.
What is Black Eyed Peas Curry or Lobia Masala
Black eyed peas curry is cooked in different ways across India, one of them is the Punjabi style.
In this Indian vegan curry, the dried peas are soaked well until they swell up.
The soaked and drained black eyed peas are then cooked in a tomato onion base with Indian spices.
There are two ways in which you can make this.
One way is to cook the peas separately and add them to the tomato-onion base and simmer well.
The second method is to cook everything together in the instant pot or a regular pressure cooker.
I prefer following the one-pot method for its convenience and find no compromise in taste.
The consistency of the curry can be altered as per your preference and it tastes good both ways, thin or thick.
A good squeeze of lemon/lime juice and some fresh cilantro added at the end completes the dish.
Health Benefits of Black Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas belong to the legume family and are highly nutritious.
They are a source of complex carbohydrates, rich in fibre and protein with 13 grams per cup of cooked peas.
They are also known to promote heart health, aid digestion, and are a rich source of micronutrients including folate, iron, vitamin A, calcium, etc.,
Like all other lentils and legumes, black-eyed peas contain antinutrients that inhibit the absorption of nutrients.
Therefore, it is important to soak them and discard the water prior to cooking.
It was also interesting to read that eating black-eyed peas is a new year’s day tradition in the south of America.
How to make Black Eyed Peas Curry without an Instant Pot
In case you were wondering if you cannot make this dish without an instant pot, here is some good news, you definitely can!
Best alternative is the regular pressure cooker, or cooking it in an open-pot using canned black eyed peas.
I personally do not prefer using canned peas/beans, and I always use a pressure cooker or the instant pot for this.
If you don’t mind using the canned peas, go ahead and cook this curry on the stovetop without the need for pressure cooking it.
The other option is cooking the soaked dried peas in an open pot.
I have never tried cooking the dried peas in an open pot since it takes a lot of time!
You can give it a try if none of the other options work.
If you are using a regular pressure cooker:
All you have to do is follow the steps mentioned in the recipe, but with the regular pressure cooker.
Add water as mentioned and pressure cook it up to 5 whistles.
Is it necessary to soak the dried Black Eyed Peas
It is advised to soak the dried peas for a few hours, so that the digestion is better and there is no issue of bloating.
I prefer soaking them overnight or for at least 6 hours. I recommend soaking them for at least 4 hours.
This also helps in softening the dried peas and reducing the cooking time.
If you are running short of time, the other possible option is to use boiling hot water to soak the peas.
In this case, you can soak them for an hour prior to cooking.
If this does not work too, you can directly use the dried peas and may be double the cooking time in the instant pot.
As I have never cooked it without soaking, I cannot tell the exact cooking time required.
Possible Variations in the Recipe
Addition of coconut milk:
You can add some coconut milk towards the end (after pressure cooking) and simmer the curry for a few minutes.
Coconut milk adds richness to the gravy, mellows down the spices and also adds a hint of sweetness.
Addition of vegetables:
To make this curry more wholesome and to reduce some extra work of making a vegetable side-dish, add them along in the curry.
You can add the vegetable(s) of your choice and make the dish more wholesome and nutritious.
Addition of fresh cream:
When you want to make the gravy creamier, and rich, addition of fresh cream is a great option.
Especially if you are not fond of the taste of coconut milk!
You can use vegan cream alternatives as well, the best choice would be cashew cream.
No onion no garlic:
You can make this black eyed peas curry without onion and garlic.
The flavor will vary from the original recipe, but definitely good in its own way.
Do not skip the ginger though.
Pot-in-Pot Rice and Curry in the Instant Pot
You can cook rice and the black eyed peas curry together following the pot in pot method in the instant pot.
For this, you will need a tall trivet. Place this inside the inner pot in which you are cooking the curry.
Place a steel bowl with rice on the trivet and close the lid of the instant pot. Set the timer.
Since I like peas to be cooked soft, I prefer 10 minutes of pressure cooking time, and brown rice works well in this case.
If you are cooking white rice, you can reduce the cooking time to 8 minutes.
To summarise, this Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas Curry is
- Protein-rich and nutritious
- Easy to make
- Perfect for busy weekday meals
Preparation to be done
Note: 1 cup= 250ml
1. Soak 1.5 cups dried black eyed peas in water for at least 4 hours, or in boiling hot water for an hour.
2. Finely chop 2 medium sized onions and 2 medium sized or 3 small sized tomatoes.
Grate 2 large cloves of garlic and an inch fresh ginger.
Note: 1 cup= 250ml
Turn the instant pot on and press the ‘saute’ button.
Once it turns hot, add 2 teaspoons oil (I used mustard oil for this).
Now add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
Add in the grated ginger and garlic, saute this for a few minutes until they turn slightly brown.
Next, add in the chopped onions and saute for a few minutes until they turn soft.
Once onions have turned soft, add the chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt.
Saute until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
Alternatively, you can blend the tomatoes until smooth and add the puree.
Next, add in the spices-
1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder or paprika powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 2 tsp chole/chana masala, or garam masala, 1/4 tsp black pepper powder, 1/2 tsp dry mango powder.
I like the flavor of chana masala in this. If you don’t have it, you can use garam masala.
Mix everything well and saute the mixture for a few minutes.
Add in the soaked black eyed peas with 3 cups of water.
Close the lid of the instant pot and press the ‘Pressure Cook’ or ‘Manual’ button. Push the valve to sealing position.
Cook this on high pressure for 10 minutes.
Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then quick release it by pushing the valve to venting position.
Mash a few black eyed peas with the back of your ladle to thicken the curry.
The curry thickens as it cools.
Squeeze half a lemon or lime and garnish with fresh cilantro. Mix well and serve.
More vegan curry recipes that you might like
Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas Curry
Note: 1 cup= 250ml
- 1.5 cups dried black eyed peas
- 2 tsp oil - I used mustard oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 large garlic cloves - grated
- 1 inch ginger - grated
- 2 medium size onions - finely chopped
- 2 medium size tomatoes - or 3 small sized
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri or byadagi red chili powder - or paprika powder
- 1/2 tsp dry mango powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp chana masala powder - or garam masala
- 1 tsp salt - or to taste
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 lemon / lime - juice
- cilantro - as required for garnish
- Soak 1.5 cups dried black eyed peas in water for 4 hours, or in boiling hot water for an hour.The soaking time can be reduced, but I recommend soaking them for at least 4 hours.
- Turn the instant pot on and press the 'saute' button. Once it turns hot, add 2 teaspoons of oil and the cumin seeds letting them sizzle for a few seconds.
- Add in the grated ginger and garlic, saute this for a few minutes until they turn slightly brown.
- Next, add in the chopped onions and saute for a few minutes until they turn soft.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook until they turn soft and mushy. Alternatively, you can blend the tomatoes until smooth and add the puree. Cook the puree until it thickens.
- Next, add in all the spice powders- turmeric, pepper powder, red chili powder, amchur powder, chana masala, cumin powder. Mix everything well and saute the mixture for a few minutes.If you don't have chana masala, you can use garam masala, but I recommend chana masala.
If you are using canned black eyed peas
- After cooking the spices for a few minutes, add the canned peas draining the water. Add 1 to 2 cups of water depending on how thick you want the curry to be. Mix well and simmer the mixture on saute mode for 5-10 minutes by closing a lid. Do NOT pressure cook.
If you are using dried and soaked black eyed peas
- Add in the soaked black eyed peas with 3 cups of water.
- Close the lid of the instant pot and press the 'Pressure Cook' or 'Manual' button. Push the valve to the sealing position. Cook this on high pressure for 10 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then quick release it by pushing the valve to venting position.
- Mash a few black eyed peas with the back of your ladle to thicken the curry. Squeeze half a lemon or lime and garnish with fresh cilantro. Mix well and serve. The curry thickens as it cools.
- Adjust the salt and spices as per your taste.
- The curry thickens as it cools.
I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed preparing it and writing it down for you all. 🙂
If you have any questions about the recipe, kindly post them below under comments.