I don’t use black eyes peas a lot in my cooking probably because my mother did not use it often at home. I had to buy them for the karadaiyan nombu adai and we ended up with a big packet of these lentils. My memories of eating karamani is mostly from the hostels I stayed during my college days and later. I have always been a fan of the delicious kuzhambu they make out of it. Fortunately for me the hostel I stayed had decent food and this was one of the dishes that they would make well. They usually made this kuzhambu with brinjal. I tried to make the same thing here without brinjal as I did not have them at home. It came out pretty well. I would not say that I recreated the same dish, that I have the memory of eating. This one is a little different but we liked it a lot. I have already made this twice in a week. It goes well as a side dish for idli/dosa and with rice.
- 1/2 cup black eyed peas
- 6-8 small pearl onions
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 1-2 garlic (optional)
- 2-3 dried red chillies
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp chana dal
- 11/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp coconut
- one gooseberry sized tamarind
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp sambar powder
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt to taste
- a pinch of jaggery
Soak the karamani/black eyed peas in water overnight.
Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract 2 cups of tamarind juice.
In a pan, add the coriander seeds, chana dal, dried red chillies, garlic and roast until the dal and coriander seeds start turning color and you get a nice aroma. Set it aside.
Roughly chop the onions and tomatoes. Saute them in little oil. Saute the onions first. When the onions turn soft add the tomatoes and saute them until they become mushy.
Cool down the onion tomato mixture. Add the roasted spices, onion tomato, coconut, fennel seeds and some water in a blender and make a smooth puree.
In a pan, add oil and temper with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, turmeric powder, curry leaves and let the mustard seeds sizzle.
Add the pearl onions and saute for couple of minutes or until they become soft. Add the soaked karamani and saute for a minute. (You can soak the lentils in hot water before cooking for 30 minutes to ensure they get cooked fully)
Add the tamarind extract, sambar powder, salt and let it come to a boil.
When the raw smell of tamarind goes off, add the ground coconut spice mixture, 1/2 to 1 cup water and mix well. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes in low medium flame. (If you want a thinner consistency add more water.)
When done, add finely chopped coriander, a pinch of jaggery and switch off the flame. Serve hot with rice and ghee.