When hunger strikes, nothing quite comes to the rescue like a tin of beans tossed in a few carefull chosen spices. Moreish and buttery smooth lobia masala, spiced black eyed beans, is an all time favourite and cooked in less than 30 minutes. I remember this well from holidays in Delhi in my youth, and it was always served with soft, hand rolled rotis, and scrunch-your-face-up tangy lime pickle. I took a recipe off my mother before she left for the motherland, and it came in very handy on a Monday lunchtime. Adjust the spices to your preference and tuck them into toasted bread pockets instead of rice if you prefer, for a bean stew with a difference.
Rinse and drain the beans. Finely chop the onion and tomato. In a Saute pan, bring the oil to heat of high.
When it sizzles around a wooden spoon, drop in the red chillies, bay leaf and cinnamon. As they sizzle up, stir in the chopped onion. Saute this for five minutes, and next, add the ginger and garlic pastes.
Stir the whole lot well for another five minutes until they turn golden. Now, add in the tomatoes, tomato puree and ground coriander, and mix it all well together. Then add half a cup of hot water and bubble the whole lot for about 10 minutes until you get a smooth masala mixture. You can stab the onions and tomatoes to make sure they disintegrate well and give you a paste texture.
After that, lower the heat to a simmer, cover for about a minute and cook until oil starts oozing out of the paste. Now, add the beans and garam masala, stir through gently and simmer covered for another couple of minutes. Finally, add salt to your taste and serve the Lobia Masala hot, with julienned ginger on top.