December 15, 2023

Black Eyed Peas Masala

This Black-Eyed Peas Masala is a delicious Indian-inspired meal that is packed with plant-based protein and plenty of beneficial fiber. The curry is made with aromatics and tomato.  We use both whole and powdered spices to really give this dish a rich depth of flavor.  This dish originates in India and is a staple in many North-Indian homes. It’s considered a humble comfort food, but it’s one that is packed with flavor.  For the whole spices, we are using cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, and cardamom. These give the curry a sweet, earthy undertone. For the powdered spices, we use turmeric, paprika, cumin, coriander, and garam masala which are all warming without being spicy. We do add 1 birdseye chili for a little bit of heat, but feel free to deseed or omit this completely if desired.   

Traditionally, this dish is made by soaking and then pressure cooking dried black-eyed peas. To make things a bit simpler, I have used canned black-eyed peas instead. If you would like to use dry beans, you will want to use 1 cup. Soak them for 4 to 5 hours, and then pressure cook in about 2 cups of water for 2 whistles or pressure cook in an instant pot for 8 minutes.

Recipe tips and tricks:

We are also using fresh tomatoes which are being pureéd, but if you are pressed for time or don’t have any fresh tomatoes on hand, then canned crushed or pureéd tomatoes work great. 

Feel free to up the nutrients of this meal by wilting in some greens at the end.  Spinach and kale both work well.

If you are looking for something to pair your black-eyed peas Masala with, it goes wonderfully over a simple cauliflower rice, which soaks up all the delicious gravy! 

Not planning to finish your curry in one sitting?  This dish can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and freezes well if you want to store it for longer.

Black Eyed Peas Masala

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 2 med tomatoes, pureed can sub 1 cup canned pureed tomato
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 small cinnamon Stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 birdseye chili diced (deseed for less heat)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cans of black-eyed peas drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 cups water
  • fresh chopped cilantro for garnish


  • MAKE your tomato pureè using a small blender and keep aside.
  • HEAT avocado oil in a medium to large pot on a medium flame, and add your whole spices – cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaves, and cardamom. Let them heat through till they become fragrant.
  • ADD the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
  • STIR in the ginger and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • ADD the finely chopped onions and sautè until it turns light brown. This should take about 3 minutes.
  • STIR in the green chili, and tomato purée and simmer for another 3 minutes.
  • ADD your powdered spices – turmeric, paprika, cumin, coriander, and garam masala, mix well and let the mixture simmer for 3 to 5 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.
  • ADD your black-eyed peas along with 1.5 cups of and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • SMASH the black-eyed peas gently a bit for the gravy to thicken.
  • TURN OFF the stove, taste for seasoning, and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
Ryani Rupani wearing a white shirt, sitting in a chair with a coffee mug, smiling at the camera.

Riyana Rupani

Riyana is a Holistic Nutritionist (NTP), focused on helping others create lasting changes through real food & lifestyle. A Mom of 3 who worked in the corporate world for 15+ years, she understands the pressures of work and home. A real Foodie, Riyana is also a recipe developer and founder of Healthy-ish & Happy, a blog where she shares delicious recipes and useful tips to help you live life in balance, and Everiday Foods, a line of flavor-forward sauces and pantry staples created to elevate your everyday. Riyana's philosophy: “Nourishing yourself doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It’s all about finding what works for you.” Riyana found her passion for nutrition after suffering from health issues herself. After years of medication & doctor visits, she was able to turn her health around with the power of real food & lifestyle and is now passionate about helping others do the same.