This Recipe for Kale & Black-Eyed Peas Is a Favourite Among Plant-Based Protein Fans

A recipe for kale and black-eyed peas, excerpted from the cookbook New Indian Basics by Preena Chauhan and Arvinda Chauhan

In 1993, when my mother started teaching her cooking classes, she called her venture Healthy Gourmet Indian Cooking, known to us by the abbreviation HGIC. This recipe is an HGIC original featured in the lentils and beans session, and we’ve been cooking it ever since. As our cooking classes evolved, we taught more intensive lentil and bean curry workshops as a way to boost interest in plant-based proteins and demonstrate how to cook them in an Indian way. This dish is traditionally made with just black-eyed peas all on their own, but my mother’s rendition includes greens, making it a great meal in one.

Kale & Black-Eyed Peas

Prep time: 15 minutes plus overnight soaking
Cook time: 1 hours, 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 cup black-eyed peas (whole), dried
  • 4 cups water, plus extra if necessary
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 medium fresh tomato, chopped, or 1 tablespoon crushed tomatoes
  • 1½ teaspoons coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Indian chili powder 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 2 cups finely chopped green kale
  • 1 teaspoon kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • Fresh cilantro, finely chopped, to garnish


  1. In a medium bowl, rinse the black-eyed peas in two to three changes of warm water. Cover with fresh warm water and soak overnight.
  2. Rinse and drain the peas in another couple of changes of warm water, then place in a medium pot along with 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook on medium-high for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covering with a lid. Cook for 40 minutes or until tender.
  3. In a separate medium non-stick pot on medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook until soft and golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low, then add the tomatoes and sprinkle in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, chili powder, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Add the garlic paste and stir to combine. Add the kale and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until slightly wilted.
  4. Stir in the cooked black-eyed peas along with their cooking liquid. Add
    ½ cup water if they start to dry out. Sprinkle in the kasoori methi. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the black-eyed peas are very tender and the spices have mixed in thoroughly. It should have a soupy consistency.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro to taste.

Note: Feel free to use spinach, rapini, or fresh fenugreek leaves as a substitute for kale. Black-eyed peas can also be cooked in a pressure cooker in 10 minutes.

New Indian Basics

Excerpted from New Indian Basics, by Arvina Chauhan and Preena Chauhan. Copyright © 2022, Arvina Chauhan and Preena Chauhan. Published by Appetite, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Next: A Recipe for Chocolate Orange & Vanilla Cardamom Barfi, an Indian-Style Fudge

Originally Published in Best Health Canada