Black eyed beans curry – Lobhia Masala

Mallika Basu - Black eyed beans curry – Lobhia Masala

I feel bad for this doyenne of celebrity cookery. Gnarled by the press. Pooh-poohed by her peers. Bored stiff of doling out mind-bogglingly perfect and precise recipes for years, she decided to reinvent herself as NBF of the common people, the time poor types. Except no one told her we'd moved on from the Seventies.We are still looking for shortcuts. But we also care about what we put in our bods. And the convenience/health equation is a delicately balanced one. Of course it can get terribly complicated. Eat oily fish. But not farmed fish. From the Atlantic. Chicken is low fat. Unless battery farmed. Organic can mean just that or not.Tricky, that. She thinks we need "leadership". In the form of a controversial cookbook that uses ready tinned beef mince and potato mash powder that is flying off our shelves.I think we need to make up our own blooming minds. Tinned beans? Yes. Powdered spud? No way, I say. Here's my half way solution. A super healthy Lobhia Masala, black-eyed beans curry that is made from the canned stuff and other healthy and fresh ingredients.



Chop the onion into small pieces. Chop the tomato roughly. Mince the ginger and garlic as small as you can.Now bring the oil to heat over a high flame and when it’s hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle up.

As they do toss in the onion, garlic and ginger and stir fry until it turns a pale golden yellow. Then, add all the powders apart from garam masala, and the chopped tomato.Fry this on high for about five minutes, until you see the oil from the masalas being released on the sides of your saucepan.

When this happens, stir in the beans and a cup of hot water and leave to cook on a medium flame for about five minutes.Finally stir in the garam masala and salt.

This is delicious as a complete beans and rice meal or in a bowl with some toasted pitta bread for dunking.

9 responses to “Black eyed beans curry – Lobhia Masala”

  1. Joanna says:

    Now that’s the kind of cheating I want to eat … not powdered so-called mash and tinned mince. You’re right, we all need shortcuts, but the world’s moved on – she was right to retire, and it’s a shame someone persuaded her to try for a comeback


  2. Asha says:

    I LOVE black eyed peas and canned ones are (any beans for that matter!) is God send to me. Looks yum Mallika!:)
    Enjoy your weekend, hugs.

  3. Elisabeth says:

    I really like your gentle approach and it’s true, I have been going on a bit about Delia. She make me so mad, though. Because – as you say – the arguments are pretty complex as it is.

    How can we make the message more simple?

    Anyway, I sure like your recipe. There IS a place for convenience food – and you can get healthy alternatives. And eat cheaply. That’s what I tried to show in this blog
    Please do have a look! I’d love to hear your comments!

  4. […] black eyed beans curry (tags: recipe beans tomatoes ginger spices indian) […]

  5. sra says:

    Ha ha, I read about all that in the Guardian! Hey Mallika, are your posts showing up in Taste of India? I thought I saw your name in the list of bloggers there but don’t seem to see your posts.

  6. Happy Cook says:

    Tinned bean yeah i say but tinned meat that is a big NO for me, but then i guess it is a personal choice

  7. leeroy says:

    If only there was someone like you on TV instead of Delia.

  8. caladwen says:

    Awesome recipe! I tried this and it came out great.
    I know this is an old post, but have a quick question for you if you happen to see this =)

    I like my food spicy! Would you recommend adding any amount of chilli powder to this? If so, how much?

    I am just starting to cook on a regular basis, and I am terrible right now… not sure how the chilli powder would affect the flavor…


  9. Nina G says:

    If’ve got an interesting site – the recipes all look very appetising. My one disappointment looking through your site is that there are very few comments – why is that I wonder? In the meantime, let’s have more recipes to try out.

    Take care and good bye

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