Buttery black eyed peas in minutes! This black eyed peas curry, or lobia masala, is so easy to make in an instant pot.
Punjabi Black Eyed Peas
I grew up eating Punjabi black eyed pea curry. This North Indian dish is warm and comforting and the beans are so rich and buttery!
Black eyed peas are also called “lobia” in northern India. So, this recipe is also known as “Punjabi Lobia Masala.”
This is my mom’s recipe – although technically, hers is slightly different every time she makes it because she doesn’t use “measurements” when she cooks (real deal Indian mamas don’t do the whole “measuring” thing). I’ve also adapted this recipe so that you can make it in an electronic pressure cooker, like an Instant Pot. I’m sure you can also easily adapt this to make it on the stovetop too if you’d like.
The great thing about black eyed peas is that they don’t take as long as other legumes to cook. You don’t need to soak the beans at all – but I always soak legumes to help reduce phytic acid (more info on that here).
This recipe not only tastes great, but it makes me feel good too. It’s hearty, rich in fiber, high in protein, and known to be a good source of dairy-free calcium.
“It’s an incredibly easy recipe especially when I used your Onion Masala. I used 1/2-cup onion masala for 1 cup of black-eyed peas. My mother-in-law couldn’t figure out how I got the gravy to be creamy without whipping cream or butter 😀”Amit
My mom would make black eyed peas fairly often while I was growing up, especially on New Years Day. That’s because these beans are thought to bring good luck. I always thought this was an Indian superstition, but it turns out that black eyed peas are considered good luck in many other cultures too – even here in the US (mainly in southern states). Whether or not you believe, it’s delicious and I suppose it can’t hurt, right?
My hubby, who isn’t a huge fan of legumes, loves and requests this curry often. He also likes my dal makhani so try that too if you get a chance.
Serve this black eyed pea curry over plain basmati rice, jeera rice, cauli-rice, paleo naan or eat a bowl of it on its own.
- 1 cup dried black eyed peas soaked for 1-2 hours
- 2 tablespoons oil of choice
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 onion diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ – ¼ teaspoon cayenne adjust to taste
- 1 tomato diced
- 2 cups water
- Cilantro leaves garnish
- Soak the dried black eyed peas in cold water for 1-2 hours. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- Press the sauté button, and add the oil and allow it to heat up for a minute. Add the cumin seeds and once they begin to turn brown, add the onion and bay leaf. Stir-fry for 6-7 minutes, or until the onions begin to turn brown.
- Add the garlic, ginger and spices, stir, then add the diced tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the tomatoes break down.
- Add the drained black eyed peas to the pot along with the 2 cups of water and mix well.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 20 minutes at high pressure.
- Naturally release pressure.
- Garnish with cilantro if desired.
- You can use ½ to ¾ cup of onion masala in place of the onion, tomato, ginger, garlic in this recipe. Start with ½ and if you prefer more masala, you can add an extra ¼ at the end if you’d like. I think ½ works fine, my dad prefers 3/4. 🙂
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