Updated: Jun 30
This recipe is that of a Punjabi style Lobia (black eyed peas) Curry. Or Rongi as we call it at home.
The masala paste for this curry recipe is a basic one with onions and tomatoes which could be used for any Punjabi style whole beans recipe; think rajma, kale chane, chole masala and others. These recipes will be posted separately too with their distinct spice powder mix which differentiates the flavours.
I usually soak and boil an extra cup of black eyed peas to make these Lobia ki Shami within a couple of days.
For now, let’s get started with the recipe of Punjabi-style Lobia Curry, with a special secret ingredient.
Time taken: 30 minutes (plus soaking the black eyed peas for 4-6 hours)
Ingredients to make Lobia Curry
1 cup Lobia / black eyes peas
3 cups water
2 tbsp ghee / cooking oil
2 onions, medium size
1 tomato, medium size
2 tbsp tomato ketchup (secret ingredient)*
* if you would like to skip the tomato ketchup, use 1 more medium sized tomato instead
5-6 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of ginger
2-3 green chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
½ tsp turmeric powder / haldi
½ tsp dried mint leaves
½ tsp dried fenugreek leaves / kasuri methi
1 tbsp garam masala
A pinch of asafoetida / hing
Salt to taste
I do not use whole spices in my recipe of Lobia Curry, you could add whole spices instead of / along with the garam masala if you like.
Also, the dried mint leaves and kasuri methi add just the right amount of flavour to the Lobia (black eyed peas) Curry and doesn’t really need the additional spices.
Method of making Lobia Curry
Soak the black eyed peas for 4-6 hours.
* If you’re cooking Lobia Curry at the last minute and have not soaked the black eyed peas for that long, quickly soak them in warm water for 30 minutes. In this case, pressure cook the black eyed peas for a little longer; I would say 8-10 minutes more than regular cooking time.
Fine grind the ginger, garlic and green chillies. Fine grind or finely chop the onions. Lastly, fine grind or grate the tomatoes.
In a pressure cooker (yes, it is easier and quicker to cook the black eyed peas in a pressure cooker), heat ghee or cooking oil and add cumin seeds. Once these crackle, add hing along with the ginger, garlic and green chillies paste. Cook this for a minute and add the onion paste.
Cook the onion paste till it turns golden brown and add pureed tomatoes. Mix well. Once the tomatoes are almost cooked – i.e. once the ghee or cooking oil starts separating on the sides, crush and add the dried mint leaves and kasuri methi. Mix well and add turmeric powder. Add tomato ketchup, my special secret ingredient, and mix well.
Give the curry masala a good mix and add drained black eyed peas / lobia. “Fry” the lobia for a minute or so and add water. Add salt and half the quantity of garam masala.
Pressure cook the Lobia Curry for 2 whistles on high heat and then 3-4 whistles on low heat. In total, pressure cook Lobia Curry for about 15-18 minutes. Switch off the heat and let the steam settle naturally.
Once the steam is settled, carefully open the pressure cooker (the Lobia Curry will still be hot and hold steam) and check if the black eyed peas are well cooked i.e. al-dente, not underdone or mushy. Incase underdone, pressure cook them for another whistle or two. If mushy, not much one can do there, your Lobia Curry will still taste great.
Add the remaining garam masala to the Lobia Curry, check seasoning and adjust to taste. I have not added red chilli powder, as there are green chillies in the masala.
Your Punjabi style Lobia (black eyed peas) Curry or Rongi is ready to serve!
Serve your Punjabi style Lobia Curry or Rongi with fresh ghee-laden rotis, chapatis, naan, steamed rice or pulao. Always Indian style; with raita of choice and pickles making it a complete Indian meal.
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