Posted on July 29, 2019

Meat Free Mondays…

Curries/ Food/ Slow Cooker

Easy Lobia Masala

As part of my Meat Free Mondays I am featuring Curries. Why? Because I love cooking Curries.

One of my favourite lentils/daals is the classic Black Eye Pea aka Lobia. I love the earthiness of it. It’s a robust bean and is versatile. You can mash it up for burgers and nuggets, cook it in a curry or add it to salads.

I usually pre-boil the peas and freeze them. I find this the most economical way. However if you don’t have freezer space yet have a Slow Cooker you can utilise that and pre-cook the peas the night before. It’s not much work but it keeps costs low.

This is a rather spicy dish. Feel free to adjust the spices to your own taste buds.

I do serve my daals/pulses with plain boiled rice or naans. You can select what works for you.

To serve four you will need:

225 grams pre-cooked Lobia aka black eye peas (or raw lentils, washed and soaked in BOILING water for 1 hour prior to cooking).

ALTERNATIVE: 2 x 400 grams (Approx) cooked Black eye peas. Rinse and drained. If you take this option you need to reduce the cooking time by a few minutes (so around 5 minutes) rather than a full 10 minutes. This is to stop turning it to mush.

1 heaped TBSP garlic paste (or 4 cloves of fresh garlic; crushed)

4 TBSP pre-fried onions soaked in water and drained (or 1 medium onion; peeled and finely sliced)

2 TBSP oil

3 green chilies-sliced in half

150 ML of passata (or half a tin of tomatoes; chopped)

750 ML (0.75 litre) water

1 small piece of ginger-sliced (you could use half a TSP of ginger powder if you wish. I generally fish out the ginger before serving)

4 TBSP fresh coriander (including stalks) finely chopped

Cooking salt-to your taste

1 heap TSP turmeric

1 TSP amchoor aka mango powder. If you can’t find any you can use the juice of two limes. Amchoor is a souring agent.

Please note: the measurements given are in line with what I like. Please feel free to adjust according to your own needs. I avoid telling people how much salt to add as it really is down to your own daily consumption and needs.

1) Pre-heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for 30 seconds. If the onions stick stir and add a little water if needed (I TBSP at a time). If you are using fresh onions fry until lightly golden.

2) Add the garlic and ginger. Fry for 1 minutes stirring well.

3) Now add the salt, turmeric and chili powder. Stir well. Fry for around 1 minute to cook the spices through. Add a TBSP of water is the mixture sticks.

4) Add the green chilies and stir in. Fry for 1 minute.

5) Add the passata. Stir well for around 5 minutes. This step creates the masala for the Lobia.

6) Add the lobia and coriander and stir to cover the lentils in the sauce. It will look dry but don’t worry. Now add the water and bring to the boil.

7) Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender. Now if you used pre-cooked lentils it takes around 15 minutes for this to happen. But it can take longer or less time depending on your lentils and how much you cooked them in the first place.
If you are using non-pre cooked lentils I find it takes over 3.5 hours to become tender and I don’t have the patience for this! What you can do is if you have a Slow Cooker you could transfer the daal at this point to the cooker and let it simmer away. I’ve done this a few times and find it works well. But ask me to keep an eye on lentils for hours on a stove and I will literally cry.

Remove the ginger pieces (if you used slices).

8) Garnish as you wish or serve as is. Lobia Masala is ready to eat.

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