(adapted from From Curries to Kebabs: Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail by Madhur Jaffrey)
In the South, it is thought that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings good luck and prosperity. If you continue to eat them throughout the year, they may even bring good health (they are a good source of antioxidants and folic acid). Also, with their black circular eyes, they are so aesthetically enchanting. This recipe is from Pakistan.
One bag frozen black-eyed peas or 1 1/2 cups dried
3 Tbls. vegetable oil
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1 tsp. whole brown mustard seeds
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb. spinach, roughly chopped
7-8 Tbls. finely chopped fresh dill
6 Tbls. plain yogurt
1-2 tsp. ground chili powder
2-3 Tbls. fresh lime juice
If using dried beans, cover with water and let soak overnight. Drain the next day, place in a pan with 4-5 cups water and simmer until tender, 50-60 minutes. Add salt to taste.
If using frozen beans cook in salted water until tender following directions on the bag, but do not overcook. Drain.
Pour the oil in a large saute pan and heat. Add cumin and mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the garlic, stir a few times, then add the spinach and dill. Stir and cook until most of the liquid in the spinach is absorbed. Add the yogurt and continue to cook until absorbed. Reduce the heat and add 3/4 cup water, chili powder (to taste) and salt. Add the lime juice and beans. Stir, bring to a simmer on low heat and cook gently for another 5 minutes. Place in a bowl and serve.