Black Eyed Peas Curry: A simple curry simmered with spices and black eyed peas. A great dish for New Year's Day. Good luck!
Project Delicious

The Luckiest Curry

I’m about as far from superstitious as a person can be, but the one thing that has stuck with me over the years is eating black eyed peas on New Years. Maybe it sticks with me because my mom still calls me every single year and reminds me.

It’s actually more of a command than a reminder. Eat black eyed peas today or your world will fall into shambles.

I remember some years where I wouldn’t have time to actually cook them so I would literally just swallow a few dried beans. Me? Superstitious? Definitely not.

If I have time though, the way I normally eat these lucky things is in some sort of hearty soup with ham. I like that just fine but after thirty years of it, I’m bored.

So this year I landed on a new take,  turns out they work beautifully in this black eyed peas curry.

Make it, eat it, and good luck to ya!

Serves 4 as a meal
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...


Black Eyed Peas Curry

A slow simmered black eyed peas curry for New Years Day. A hearty and delicious dish served with rice or na’an and it’ll give you good luck (so they say)!


2 cups dried black eyed peas, soaked and simmered
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoons rice flour
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can coconut milk
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper
Fresh cilantro, garnish
Na'an, for serving
Rice, for serving
Print Recipe  


1) Cook your black eyed peas using your favorite method. I like to soak mine overnight in cold water and then simmer them gently in fresh water until they are tender (45-50 minutes of simmering). If you need a shorter method, you can quick soak the black eyed peas in boiling water for 20 minutes, then drain and simmer them until tender.

2) Meanwhile, in a large pot, add butter over medium heat with onions. Cook until onions soften, 4-5 minutes.

3) Add curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and chili powder and stir together. Add rice flour and stir to combine.

4) Stir in tamarind paste, diced tomatoes (with juice) and coconut milk. Stir to combine and bring curry to a simmer.

5) Stir in cooked black eyed peas and season the curry with salt, pepper, and chopped cilantro. Keep warm.

Serve warm curry over rice and/or with fresh na’an bread. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Recipe loosely adapted from a Spice up the Curry recipe.

Black Eyed Peas Curry

Cooking Black Eyed Peas

There are a bunch of different ways to cook these suckers. If you’re short on time you can cook them in a pressure cooker or just soak them in boiling water for 30 minutes or so and then simmer them until tender.

Ideally though, just soak them in cold water overnight and then drain the water and simmer them in fresh water until they are tender. Usually 45-50 minutes will do the trick there.

For some dishes I would worry about over-cooking the peas but for this black eyed peas curry it’s actually fine if they mash up a bit.

Black eyed peas cooked.

Soaked and Simmered.

Making the Curry

The curry that I use to make this black eyed peas curry is simple. There’s no need to make it more complicated.

Cook down a diced onion in some butter over medium heat and then add all the spices. You can customize this to your tastes, but I like curry powder, turmeric, chili powder, and cumin.

If you wanted more spice, you could add a tablespoon of red curry paste to it.

Onions for black eyed peas curry.

Onions and spices.

Stir that all together and it will turn into a dark, lovely mix. After a minute or so add in some rice flour. This is optional, but it does thicken the sauce nicely. You could also just use all-purpose flour if you don’t have rice flour.

A little goes a long way.

Rice flour for curry.

A little rice flour.

Then add the tamarind paste, diced tomatoes, and coconut milk.

Tamarind paste is kind of a weird ingredient that I don’t use much.



It’s really strong stuff so go light on it. It adds so much flavor to this black eyed peas curry. You should be able to find little jars of it in most supermarkets these days.

When you stir everything together you’ll find yourself facing a pot of delicious golden sauce.

Tomato and coconut for curry.

Good liquid.

Then stir in your cooked black eyed peas and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes.

Black eyed peas in curry.

All together now.

This is when you need to taste the curry and adjust it to your liking.

It will almost certainly need a big pinch of salt and pepper and I like to add a handful of chopped cilantro.

Feel free to add more of any spice that you want also!

Cilantro for curry.

Lots of cilantro.

That’s all there is to it!

Serve your Black Eyed Peas Curry up warm over na’an bread and/or basmati rice.

It’s a fantastic, hearty vegetarian meal that’ll bring you lots of good luck and at least one good dinner in 2015!

Black Eyed Peas Curry: A simple curry simmered with spices and black eyed peas. A great dish for New Year's Day. Good luck!

6 comments on “The Luckiest Curry

  1. The beauty of curry is that you can make it your own, and your recipe proves the point. Will have to make this. Just remember the more curry powder used makes it spicier.

  2. It was delicious even with a few substitutions!

    We didnt have any tamarind so I used a litttle apricot jam, lemon juice, brown sugar, and kekchup. Not the same but similar sweet and tangy flavor.

    We also have two young kids so, instead of chili powder I used some smoked paprika. We all gobbled it up with some naan, even the 1 year old!

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