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Curried Black-Eyed Peas

This recipe comes by way of Darling Daughter #2.  She has been into Indian cuisine for a long time and knowing my love of black-eyed peas (southern style) she figured I would probably love this.  Good guess on her part.  It is magnificent although the flavors are distinctly Indian and bear little resemblance to my mother's black-eyed peas.  I've tinkered a little mostly for convenience but this remains true to the spirit of the original recipe.  She thought it was very spicy, and while I thought it was perfectly spiced please be forewarned - you may want to omit the chiles.

¼ cup canola oil
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
6 whole cardamom pods
1" piece cinnamon stick
3 whole dried chile de arbol (or equivalent)
2 large bay leaves
1½" piece fresh ginger. peeled and minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
½ teaspoon ground cayenne
1 14½ ounce can diced tomatoes, pureed in a blender
½ cup plain yogurt
3 14½ ounce cans black-eyed peas
1 cup chicken broth

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon, chiles and bay leaves and cook until the cinnamon unfurls, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 15 minutes.  If the onion begins to stick to the pan add a little broth as necessary to deglaze.  Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and salt and cook for an additional minute until the garlic and ginger become aromatic.

Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  In a small bowl add some of the hot liquid to the yogurt and stir well to temper.  Add the yogurt, broth, Garam Masala and peas stirring well to combine.  Allow the dish to return to a simmer and heat through.  Stir well  and remove from heat.  Serve with Basmati rice.




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