Instant Pot Indian Black Eyed Pea Curry


Buttery black eyed peas in minutes! This black eyed peas curry, or lobia masala, is so easy to make in an instant pot.

Instant Pot Indian black eyed pea curry by Ashley of

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 momโ€™s recipe – although technically, hers is slightly different every time she makes it because she doesnโ€™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.

“Itโ€™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 couldnโ€™t figure out how I got the gravy to be creamy without whipping cream or butter ๐Ÿ˜€”

Instant Pot Indian black eyed pea curry by Ashley of

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.

Instant Pot Indian black eyed pea curry by Ashley of

Instant Pot Indian Black Eyed Pea Curry

Instant Pot Indian Black Eyed Pea Curry

This popular Punjabi dish, also known as lobia masala, is made with buttery black eyed peas. This is a recipe thatโ€™s almost always served on New Yearโ€™s Day in our house because itโ€™s thought to bring good luck. Donโ€™t wait until then to make this though!
4.86 from 42 reviews
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Servings 3
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian


  • 1 cup dried black eyed peas soaked for 1-2 hours
  • 2 tablespoons oil of choice
  • ยฝ 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
  • ยผ teaspoon black pepper
  • โ…› – ยผ 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 sautรฉ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚


Serving: 1bowlCalories: 302kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 14gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 797mgPotassium: 808mgFiber: 8gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 412IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 5mg
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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, Iโ€™m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and youโ€™ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Sarah W says

    5 stars
    I make this at least every other week and make at least one of your recipes every other day. This is one of my staples (teenager is vegan, Iโ€™m allergic to dairy) and itโ€™s well received by everyone who tries it. I usually use 3 cans of beans (I mix it up and sometimes use canelli or great northern beans or a mixture of whatever cans of beans I have in the cupboard) and triple the recipe. I pressure cook on high for 5 mins and let it release naturally for about 10 mins. Itโ€™s so good! I made your saag recipe last night and weโ€™re having both tonight!

  2. Poo says

    Love your recipes. If we double the quantity of black eye peas then do we double all spices, onions, water and cooking time?

  3. Amit Mukerjee says

    5 stars
    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 ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Anand R says

    5 stars
    My fiancรฉ liked it. But after watching your video, I forgot about my fiancรฉ.
    You are the one who I think about. Live in MA

  5. Sharon says

    4 stars
    I ended up soaking overnight. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly. I also found there was far too much liquid when It finished. I drained some off and left it on warm for a few hours but it did not thicken much. And my pease are not as soft as Iโ€™d like even after the extra soaking and cooking. After reading all the reviews it seems strange that there are so many differences in the results. Flavour was good though. I just donโ€™t like crunchy beans!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Sharon, hmm they definitely should have cooked in this amount of time. Are your beans old by chance? This is common with older beans – they either take longer to cook or sometimes don’t soften at all.

  6. Barbara says

    I have a lot of cooked black eyed peas in my freezer. How could I use those in this recipe? What changes would I need to make?

  7. Haley Henderson says

    5 stars
    This dish was incredible! I had some heirloom variety black eyed peas that I felt were deserving of a very special dish. They turned out so creamy and the sauce was absolutely incredible. It was hard to not eat the whole pot to myself in one sitting. Thanks for another great recipe !!!

  8. Kathy says

    5 stars
    We have made this several times and really enjoy. Just made it again tonight and it was so good and warming on a chilly autumn night I chose to write this review. One tip: went typically soak the black eyed peas for a short duration โ€” only while we are prepping this dish (mincing and sauteeing the ingredients) โ€” once it is time to add the drained black eyed peas we throw in a little extra water to the pressure cooker because we assume the peas will absorb more water. Cooking time stays the same and the end result is still delicious but without having to start 2 hours earlier!

  9. Laura Frederick says

    5 stars
    Just made this wonderful recipe the other night! I had two cans of black eyed peas left over from New Year’s Eve, which amounted to about 3 cups. According to the internet, 1 cup of dried BEPs yields about 3 cups, so I followed the other ingredients as stated in the recipe. I cooked it on Manual in my IP for 5 minutes, with a 20-minute de-pressurization time while our rice cooked. It was delicious, and the leftovers just get better after a few days in the fridge. This is going on the Repeat List!

  10. Krystina says

    5 stars
    I tried this recipe today. It turned out better than I expected. I’m not much of a cook, but I think I did a great job executing this dish. All of the dried black-eyed peas were gone, so I used dry organic garbanzo beans and dry french green lentils instead. There were a few ingredients I did not have (ginger, a bay leaf, and turmeric), but I like the flavor of the finished product. Also, instead of using one fresh tomato, I used a cup and a half of crushed tomatoes. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this recipe. I will be making this one again soon!

  11. Jan Schaper says

    5 stars
    What a wonderful savory treat for a cool, rainy spring night! We made this recipe using our Instant Pot, after soaking the black-eyed peas for 2 hours. Based on our in-house provisions, we made the following modifications: substituted 1/2 cup of diced canned tomatoes for the raw tomato; had to leave out the bay leaves; mixed up our own blend of cinnamon/cardamom/cloves/pepper/coriander/cumin to substitute for the garam masala. Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. Thank you!

  12. Daniel Rosehill says

    5 stars
    Lovely recipe, Ashley.
    I didn’t have time to pre-soak the loobia / black eyed peas before a recent party so I added another cup of water to bring the bean:water ratio to 3:1 and I upped the time under pressure to 30 minutes to be safer.
    The consistency of the beans and the thickness of the sauce both worked out perfectly.
    I didn’t know that black eyed peas were used much in Indian cooking. I’m very partial to a Nepalese dish called aloo bodi tama, but I’m not so into using canned ingredients like bamboo. So this was a delightful find!
    Looking forward to trying more of your recipes for the IP!

  13. Reed says

    5 stars
    Fantastic! I made a pot of this for new years day dinner and it’s so delicious and satisfying. I added 1 1/2 cups of water instead of 2 cups and was very pleased with the consistency: not too watery but plenty of flavorful curry! The black eyed peas came out so creamy. Happy New Year and thanks for the recipe.

  14. Anonymous says

    If I use 2 cups of beans itโ€™s 4 cups water And how much time ? Is it still 20 mins manual high pressure ?

  15. Janet Gonzales says

    5 stars
    Sooooo good. Everyone loved it, even the ones who โ€œdonโ€™t like black eyed peasโ€. Healthy, easy recipe! Thanks!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Janet, I’m so happy to hear that!! Thanks for letting me know how the black eyed peas turned out for you all – especially those who “don’t like black eyed peas” lol – made my day ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Berrak Pinar says

    This recipe sounds delicious however I don’t have a pressure cooker. Could you please give me some tips how to cook it right on the stove?

  17. Jennifer Hall says

    5 stars
    This is my second time making this recipe. I love love love it. Didnโ€™t have fresh tomatoes so I substituted Muir Glen organic diced tomatoes. So good!!!! Next time I will add the whole can and add more peas. Really really good with Instapot collard greens.

  18. Dawn says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! If you want to double it, should you also double the water? If not, how much water should you use? Thank you!

  19. Dawn says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! If you want to double the recipe, should you also double the water? If not, how much water should you use? Thank you!

  20. Sarah says

    5 stars
    This is so delicious and so easy- thank you for sharing! I only had half a cup of black eyed peas so I used half a cup of moong dal as well. My picky son ate the lot! I can see me making this a lot in future. (I left out the cayenne and didn’t miss it, it was still very tasty.)

  21. John says

    4 stars
    This looks like a delicious recipe, although I am yet to make it.

    I’d lik eto know your thoughts about freezing this curry. Will it be fine? The recipe will make quite a few too many serves for me to eat within a couple of days, so I would like to freeze it. I haven’t frozen beans before.

    I look forward to your advice

  22. Sarah P. says

    Hi Ashley, can your onion masala be used in this recipe? I’ve got a big batch in the freezer. Also, any adjustments for fresh peas?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Sarah, you can use onion masala in any recipe calling for onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic – this recipe included ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t know the exact measurements for this recipe but will be sure to update the recipe once I do. The great thing about the masala is that it’s already cooked, so if you feel a dish is lacking in masala, you can always just stir it in at the end. Hope that helps!

  23. Ami says

    This recipe is so simple but absolutely satisfying! My husband and kids eat it all up every time. Itโ€™s definitely one of our favorites!

  24. Arcoveg says

    5 stars
    This is a wonderful recipe! It is so tasty and it only took a few minutes to put together. I will definitely be making this regularly.

  25. Ushma says

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight. Followed the recipe but replaced fresh tomato with 1 teaspoon tomato puree. Needed to add a little water once done but other than that came out delicious! This is the first time I cooked black eyed peas and I am so happy I found this recipe. Took little time to make, perfect for weekday supper. My husband who rarely likes vegetarian food gave this the thumbs up!!!

  26. DNT says

    5 stars
    Making this recipe for the second time today. We absolutely loved it the first time around. The black eyed peas were so tender and the curry transported me back to my childhood. Thank you!

  27. Mimi says

    I already gushed all over this recipe on Facebook, but I want to add that after my partner and I enjoyed this on New Year’s Day, I gave some to my food-loving vegetarian friend with whom I share my cooking experiments. Not only did she say it was “perfect,” her 91-year old, set in his ways, just make me a tuna fish sandwich EVERY. DANG. DAY. husband ate it too! That’s a major compliment.

  28. 'Rie says

    5 stars
    A perfect start to our New Year! I pre-soaked and cut cooking time to 10 minutes. Added more fresh ginger by my preference. This is so incredible. My first IP try โ€” as well as first black eyed peas. As I love Indian food, this was amazing, fun and now meals for week (doubled recipe). Plan to serve over variety of greens. Look forward to trying out more of your meals.

  29. Palu says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley,

    I have never posted a food review before, although I use online recipes often. I’m not a natural cook. I felt I had to post this one. Wow! It was fantastic!

    Growing up, black eyed pea soup was a regular in my house. I loved it. Have often craved it as an adult, but have been disappointed on the rare occasion I would find it anywhere. It would be bland.

    This was my first tryout recipe with my brand new Instant Pot Mini. Actually, I bought this pressure cooker with making this recipe in mind. That’s how much I love black eyed peas!

    I followed the recipe almost exactly. Soaked dryed beans for an hour, and used coconut oil for cooking. Substituted 1/4 cup white wine for equivalent water. Why? It was in my fridge, and didn’t want to waste it. I also used tomato sauce instead of a tomato. Why? I forgot to get an extra tomato at the grocery store. I guesstimated at about 1/4 cup.

    I knew it would taste good, because of all the spices. I wasn’t ready to be blown away! And I was. It is the best I’ve tasted!

    I plan to have a pot of this on “warm” quite frequently, throughout the winter. Thank you so much for providing this recipe. Best black eyed pea soup I’ve ever had!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Palu, thank you so much for writing a review for me ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so happy to hear that you liked the black eyed pea curry! I am definitely going to try adding white wine next time – that sounds delicious.

  30. Joseph Stewart says

    This was a great recipe. The flavor
    was awesome. I might scale
    back on the water by 1/2 cup because I would prefer it a little drier. The black-eyed peas were perfect. This was my first time eating them. My wife who says she does not like Curry (curry powder) also loved the recipe. Brilliant!

    • My Heart Beets says

      So glad to hear that you and your wife loved it, Joseph! Also, just an interesting tidbit – “curry powder” is actually a British invention (not Indian) – so that may explain why your wife liked this! Thanks for letting me know how it turned out for you both ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Samantha F says

    3 stars
    Hey Ashley, I tried this recipe yesterday, it tasted good, though the beans were quite mushy (soaked them for 2 hours as mentioned) and there was a lot of liquid after releasing steam naturally from the IP, was wondering what I did wrong and what could be done better next time ! Thanks

  32. Carla says

    Hi ~ This looks delicious!! What would you recommend for those who are trying not to use oil. I’m new to using an Instant Pot. Thank you!

  33. Sue L says

    Hi, I tried this and while the flavour was great, it came out very soupy. And I mean extremely runny. Followed the recipe to a T with one exception. I soaked the beans for about 3 hours instead of the recommended 2. Would this be enough to alter the outcome so significantly? Thanks. I’m new to instant pot (this was my second recipe to try) and am discouraged with my result.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Sue, no that wouldn’t have done it. I’m not sure why it came out soupy – you can always hit “saute” once it’s done to boil off any extra liquid though.

  34. Sue L says

    I left the beans soaking for about 3 hours instead of the recommended 1 or 2, and this came out as soup. Very runny. The spice level (as in the directions) would have been great had it been a thick sauce on beans, as pictured, but as soup it was overpowering.

    I know I put in exactly the 3 cups of water (24 ounces) as directed, so that was not the problem. Could “over-soaking” have caused this soupy result? This was only my second Instant Pot effort, so it was discouraging. Any advice? Thanks!

  35. Tom R. says

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight, and have to say Wow! It was so good. Thank you! Looking forward to trying other recipes from your site.

  36. Nzinga says

    5 stars
    I made this last night while cooking our food for the week, and it’s delicious! I used about a third of the amount of cayenne called for, and do wish I’d left it out–while *I* really like it, I think my kids will balk at the spice level and it seems as though it would be plenty flavorful without the cayenne. Still, I think my kids will still enjoy it with a dollop of whole milk yogurt on top. So good–thank you!

  37. Bianca says

    I want to try this, but I worry whether 30 min is too much. I have done black-eyed peas in the instant pot before, and even without any pre-soaking they were very soft (almost a bit too mushy) after only 25 minutes.

  38. Katie says

    5 stars
    I made this on New Year’s Day and the kids 7,5, & 2 loved it. I usually make hoppin’ john for luck and my 5 year old said this was so much better and renamed it poppin’ john. She requested that we not just have this on New Years. Thanks for another winner! I made it in a stovetop pressure cooker after an hour of soaking and did it for 6 minutes with a quick release. It was perfect.

  39. Katie says

    5 stars
    Another winner! I did this in a stove top pressure cooker and cooked it for 6 minutes after an hour of soaking with a quick release. We had this instead of hoppin’ john on New Year’s Day. My husband, 7,5, and 2 year old loved it (I left out the cayenne). My 5 year old said this was much better than hoppin’ john and renamed it poppin’ john and requested that I not just make it on New Year’s Day.

  40. Shauna says

    5 stars
    I was on the hunt for something that used ingredients I already had, and would be satisfying on a cold night after a long day. Of course I logged on to your blog and found this on the front page — it met my needs, and bonus that it was super simple & made use of my favorite kitchen appliance ๐Ÿ˜‰

    This cooked up beautifully, and satisfied all the rumbly tummies in this house — finicky six y/o even asked for seconds. I used duck fat for the cooking oil, but otherwise stuck 100% to your recipe, and everything was perfect. A great blend of satisfyingly hearty, earthy flavors with rich, bright spices to warm it up and make it pop ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you so much!!

  41. G C says

    Hey Ashley,

    It sounds like this is made with some sort of pressure cooker. If you don’t have one, how would you make this dish using a regular pot? Thanks for your help and Happy Holidays to you and your family!


    • Anu says

      I used 2 cans of black eyed peas and 1 cup of water. Pressure cooked for 6 minutes. Had to boil off a little water at the end and thicken with a bit of corn starch!

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