This dish is another favorite which reminds me of home. Easy to cook and one hot bowlful with steaming rice or fluffy rotis is a perfect meal on a cold evening. The peas - called chola in Gujarati and lobia in the north - are tangy because of the yogurt, spicy due to green chilies and with a hint of sugar to balance it all out.
3 cups black eyed peas (chola)
3 tablespoons yogurt
5-6 green chilies
4 garlic cloves
1 inch stick ginger
Pinch asafoetida (hing)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar or 1/2 inch cube jaggery
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
1/2 cup water
1-2 tablespoons chopped coriander
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel. When hot add the asafoetida, cumin and mustard seeds. When they start crackling, add the chilies, ginger and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes on medium heat just when the garlic starts browning. Next add the boiled peas to this and stir. Add sugar and spices along with the water and cook on low-medium heat for 10 minutes for the peas and spices to mesh together, stirring occasionally. When the peas and spices are cooked add the yogurt. If the curry becomes too thick, add some water to thin it out. Cook for couple of minutes till the yogurt is well incorporated and the gravy starts to bubble. Add the chopped coriander and serve hot.