Lobia Masala (Black Eyed Peas Curry)

The black-eyed pea or black-eyed bean or Lobia that we commonly call ‘Borboti Korai’ in Bengali is a very common but rarely cooked legume in Bengali cuisine. The common commercial variety is called the California Blackeye; it is pale-colored with a prominent black spot. In the American South there are countless varieties. The color of the eye may be black, brown, red, pink or green. All the peas are green when freshly shelled and brown or buff when dried.

In India, black-eyed peas are called ‘Lobia’ or ‘Rongi’ in North India and cooked like daal, served with boiled rice. In Kannada, a South-Indian language, they are called ‘Alsande kalu’ and used in the preparation of ‘Huli’, a popular type of curry. In Maharashtra they are called ‘Chawli’ (pronounced chau-lee) and made into a curry called ‘Chawli Amti’ or ‘Chawli Usal’.

I haven’t followed any particular recipe that I have discussed above. This is a Dal that we take with roti in the dinner mostly and sometimes with bread in breakfast also. It tastes equally good as a side dish with bread toast also.


Ingredients to serve 4

  • Black Eyed Pea or Lobia – 150 gms (Soaked for 4-5 hours)
  • Potato – 1 (Small cubed)
  • Coconut – 2 Tbsp (Finely chopped)
  • Ginger Paste – 1 ½ tsp
  • Tomato – 1 (Chopped)
  • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
  • Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder – ½ tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp
  • Kasuri Methi/Dry Fenugreek Powder – 1 tsp
  • Asafetida – 2 pinches
  • Dry Red Chilli – 1
  • Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
  • Oil – 3-4 tsp
  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt – according to taste
  • Chopped Coriander – 1 Tbsp (Optional)


  1. Wash and soak beans for atleast 3 hours or more. Pressure-cook the beans on medium heat till 1 whistle. Let the pressure release and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and fry the potatoes till golden brown and keep aside.
  3. Add some more oil in the pan add the cumin seeds, whole red chilli, bay leaf as they start to crackle add asafetida.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes and ginger paste. Fry the masala till oil separates.
  5. Now add kasuri methi, chopped coconut and all the dry masalas except garam masala.
  6. When the raw smell of spices goes off add cooked Lobia with its water. Adjust salt.
  7. Add in the fried potatoes and garam masala powder. Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes.
  8. Remove the cover and add ghee (clarified butter) and garnish with chopped coriander leaves
  9. Serve with roti/plain paratha/rice or with simple bread in breakfast.

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