Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Cowpeas - yummy!

The cow peas I blogged about earlier, turned out to be a yummy treat.

I gathered a large bag full of mature dry pods and shelled them while watching TV.

I soaked the dried "peas" overnight, then cooked them in a pressure cooker and made a delicious Indian curry from it - somewhat like black dhal (lentils). Even the kids loved it.

I have since planted my other vacant vegetable bed with the remaining seeds. I'll be saving enough seeds for next year and then some. I might even consider planting all the open areas with cow peas to serve as a cover crop / green manure, since they are doing so well in the intense heat and humidity with minimum water and care. Not only are they growing well, they look very pretty too, deep green leaves and beautiful purple flowers all the time.

Here's how I prepared the curry:

Cow pea curry

soak peas overnight, drain, then cook in fresh water until soft, or use pressure cooker to expedite the process, then drain again, rinse and drain

2 large onions chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric (or fresh turmeric)
1 tsp garam masala
2 inches of ginger root - grated
3 - 4 garlic cloves, minced (according to taste)
1 1/2 cups natural yogurt
3 cups cooked peas
1/2 cup half & half or cream
1/2 - 1 tsp red chilly powder

add onions, spices into large pan, dry roast until it just starts to smoke
add olive oil enough to make it "moist"
saute until onions are soft and it becomes a "paste"
add 1 small can of tomato paste or 1 can of tomato sauce
saute until properly combined

add cooked peas and combine
add yogurt and combine
add salt to taste (add a little at a time)
add half & half or cream to taste, or leave out for a healthier version

If you require a stronger curry add a little more red chilly powder (or fresh chillies to taste)

Serve with basmati rice or naans - yum!


  1. Hi. I live in Palm Beach county and am growing Cowpeas...Pink Eyed Purple Hull variety! Your recipe sounds so good. I hope I will have enough peas to do this! I only have about 32 plants and some are much smaller than others! I have a few beans that are now starting to turn purple. I'm not sure when to pick them. I suppose it will be a trial thing...I want the peas to be big enough, that's for sure! Any advice?
    Thanks, Julie

  2. Hi Julie,

    I let the cow peas mature completely - let the hulls dry and then pick them. Its quite a job to pick and shell them, but well worth it. Nothing beats the sheer high you get from harvesting and eating self-grown food. I was watching a Dr. Oz episode with my wife and the amount of herbicides and pesticides in our food is astounding, so the more stuff you can grow yourself and stay away from chemical pesticides, the better.