When I was contacted by the US Dry Beans Council to come up with a recipe using a dry bean, I was really ecstatic! Why? Because I get to work with an organization that helps to promote the bean industry and provide information to consumers, health professionals, buyers, suppliers and the media about the good taste, nutritional value and versatility of beans. Especially in this day and age, where the society is so environment conscious, and eating meat has a large carbon footprint, there are so many reasons why we should be eating beans as protein as part of our daily intake. Being a vegetarian myself, eating pulses since I was a baby has been a huge part of my life, and the way I get much of my protein intake.
The U.S. is the global leader in quality, dry bean production, thanks to our state-of-the-art harvesting equipment, handling practices and production processes. The U.S. grows more than 10 varieties of beans which are renowned for their nutritional qualities as well as culture and culinary influence. Growing interest in ethnic cuisines and the known benefits of eating plant-based foods are contributing to increased consumption of beans in the U.S. and around the world.
Beans have a lot of health benefits. Beans are naturally low in fat, rich in folic acid, rich source of fiber, no cholesterol, so they reduce the risk of heart diseases, they keep the blood sugar leveled, they are great for providing energy due to its high protein content as well! You can read up more about the benefits of beans, and how to cook them perfectly on the US Dry Beans Council website.
Black-eyed peas are one of the several legumes, which are nutrition rich, loaded with complex carbs, high in fiber and protein, and vitamins and minerals as well. Benefits of eating beans, also include lowering the risk of cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure, reducing inflammation, etc. The benefits of black-eyed peas are attributed to its soluble and insoluble fiber content, as well as its phytochemicals, proteins and peptides. Black-eyed peas are widely used in various cultures. They make great soups and stews, they can even be crisped up and added to salads. Or they can be made into a curry as I will be showcasing it in my recipe here!
One thing you have to remember about beans, is that they can cause flatulence, so the best way to prevent it is by putting cumin seeds or caraway seeds in your foods to reduce the discomfort. 🙂
The curry that I am showcasing here, Black-Eyed Peas and Spinach Curry, is one that was a staple in our home, growing up in Mumbai. Mom would make it quite often as it was her favorite curry! 🙂 She prepared it in a very simple way, with cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and spices like turmeric, coriander, and cumin powders, red chilli powder and a bit of garam masala, some tomatoes, green chillies and a lot of cilantro! The curry is so very tasty! I love adding spinach and potatoes to it, to give it some vibrancy and add more vitamins to this very healthy, vegan and gluten free dish. I love having this curry with cumin cilantro rice, Or Indian flatbread or rotis. Some cumin spiced cucumber yogurt with fried chickpea balls (or boondi) on the top is great on the side as a cooling dish to this otherwise spicy curry! This is my absolute comfort dish in the winters, and one that always reminds me of my home and the good times with my family.
This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and super comforting in these cold winter months. This makes for an easy weeknight meal as well, as it does not take time to make once you have the beans pressure cooked in the morning and you just have to make the curry once you are back from work! Definitely include this as part of your diet, as it will make for a delicious meal option and will become a family favorite as it is in mine!
If you do make this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on this blog post! So appreciate your feedback and your thoughts on this curry.