January 03, 2007

Lucky Curried Cabbage and Black-eyed Peas

1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
1 cup black-eyed peas (frozen or canned)
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 small chili pepper, dried or fresh
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
2 teaspoons of dried split mung daal*
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water

Puree onion, garlic, chili pepper, and ginger in a food processor**. In a large pan with a lid, saute mustard seeds, mung daal, cumin seeds, and asofotida in oil for 5-10 minutes until mustard seeds start to pop. Carefully add the onion mixture to the pan. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the onion is golden and has a pleasant aroma. Add cabbage and stir to coat. Cover and cook for 15 minutes on high. Add water, coconut, salt, garam masala, turmeric and black-eyed peas. Bring to a boil then cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes or until tender.
Serving suggestion: serve with white rice.

*available at an Indian grocery.
**Or chop them very finely by hand.

My thoughts:
Black-eyed peas are said to be lucky if eaten on the first of a new year. Rather than make the more traditional hoppin' john, my Indian food loving husband came up with this curry. It is really, really good-the cabbage takes on an almost creamy texture and flavor and the beans make it hardy enough for a main dish. We were lucky enough to find frozen black-eyed peas, but I bet canned would work just as well.