Black Eyed Beans are known differently in different parts of India. In North India they are referred to as Lobhia whereas in the West as Chawli. Which ever name they go by the basic way to make this curry dish remains more or less the same. Lobia/Chawli chi Usal is a simple Indian main-course dish cooked in a onion tomato gravy & can be served either dry or in gravy form. Dry version goes well with Roti/Chapati/Indian bread whereas the gravy version is more suitable for Rice. Having said that, this is not a hard & fast rule.
Unlike the other bean (Red Kidney bean) from the bean family or lentils (Dal dishes) this bean curry is not yet seen on any Indian restaurant menu. Have you ever noticed that??
1 cup of black eyed beans (Lobia/chawli)
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
2 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp of green chili paste (or 2-3 green chilies finely chopped)
1 tsp of garlic paste
1 tsp of ginger paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder (or to taste)
1 tbsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of cumin seeds powder
1 tsp of dry mango powder (optional)
1 tbsp of tomato ketchup (optional)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder or to taste (optional)
few coriander leaves finely chopped
1-2 tbsp of oil
- Soak the black eyed beans overnight (or for 8hrs).
- Drain & cook them with salt & 4 cups of water till they are cooked. You should be able to easily press them between ur fingers. I usually cook mine in a pressure cooker for about 4-5 whistles & open it only after all the steam is gone.
- Drain the cooked beans, keep the drained water & use it to adjust the gravy consistency.
- In a vessel heat oil & once hot add the cumin seeds. When they start sizzling add the onions & asafoetida & saute till onions turn translucent pink.
- Now add the green chili, ginger & garlic paste & saute till raw garlic smell disappears (approximately 1 min)
- Add turmeric powder followed by tomatoes & salt. Cover & cook till tomatoes become soft.
- Now add the red chili, coriander, cumin seeds & dry mango powder. Mix well. Add the tomato ketchup & cook for a min.
- Then add the cooked black eyed beans & as much water as required. (if you want it dry, dont add water) . Mix well. Simmer for 5 mins. Mash the beans lightly with the spoon to thicken the gravy a bit.
- Add the garam masala & coriander powder & simmer again for 2 mins.
That’s it our Lobia/Chawli Chi Usal is ready!! Serve it hot with Rice/Roti/Chapati or any Indian bread of your choice.