Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Lobia and Sarson with Matta Rice

Black-eyed peas, Mustard Greens with Matta Rice:

There are only few American dishes that I enjoy. One of them is Hopping’ John (black-eyed peas, greens and rice). This is an African-American dish that has made it to the “Hara’s Tara”. I like the combination, but the underlying flavor melancholy is inescapable. How to add a cheerful tone to blue notes. Well, how about a mrudangam beat. These thoughts led to a new recipe, which is an amalgam of both ingredients and method.

Black-eyed peas, mustard greens and Kerala matta rice cooked together with onions and tomatoes. And the dish is flavored with fresh coconut, peppercorn and nutmeg. Though it started out like musical elements spontaneously assembled during a play, the south-Indian improvisational context imparted an orchestra effect to good old African American tradition. Mine was a solo performance, and when the single audience showed up with a serving bowl saying “encore please”, some hopping smiles sure happened.

Lobia and Sarson with Matta Rice:
(for two adults for two meals)

1-cup black-eyed peas – soaked in water overnight, and cooked to tender
1-cup matta rice (or brown rice) – soaked in 3 cups of water for 3 hours
1 bunch mustard greens – leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
1 onion, and two ripe tomatoes – finely chopped
2 garlic cloves – finely chopped

For seasoning:
2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut,
1 teaspoon black peppercorn (this dish needs some heat)
½ teaspoon each – cumin and grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon each – turmeric and salt
½ inch piece of ginger
2 tablespoons of crushed jaggery
Take them all in a Mixer. Pulse few times, first. Then add half cup of water. Blend to smooth paste.

Heat a tablespoon of peanut oil in a big pot. Add and sauté garlic and onion to pale-red. Add tomatoes and sauté to soft. Add the mustard greens and cook until leaves start to collapse. Add the rice and the water it soaked in. Cover the pot and on medium heat, cook the rice until it’s al-dente or just tender. Now add the precooked black-eyed peas. And also the spice paste. Stir-in another cup of water if the dish looks too dry. Mix. Have a taste and adjust salt to your liking. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve hot with papadums on the side. Makes a great tasting one-pot meal.

Vegetarian Hopping John
India Inspired Hopping John ~ Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Blackeye Beans,Rosematta Rice,Sarson (Mustard Greens) (Thursday April 24, 2008 at 5:40 pm- permalink)
Comments (22)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

22 comments for Lobia and Sarson with Matta Rice »

  1. The combination is healthy and nutritious. Nice amalgamation.

    Comment by Madhavi — April 24, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

  2. Looks delicious Indira, I have always wondered how to use black eyed peas.. never quite enjoyed them .. Hope to try this and enjoy this one pot wonder.

    Comment by Dee — April 24, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

  3. This is nice…………. !
    Indira : When are you releasing your cook book… ???
    Am not trying to flatter you here … but I strongly feel you should work towards it… !!! With all the unique recipes that you come up with .. it will be a cake walk for you.
    What say fellow readers ??? Do you second my ‘2 cents’ on this ???

    Good Luck..
    Leena Goutam 🙂

    Comment by Leena — April 24, 2008 @ 7:34 pm

  4. Wow, the concert certainly is melodic. I use black eyed peas in just a handful of recipes. Thanks for the idea. I am going to try this dandelion greens or whatever I could lay my hands on this week at the market 🙂

    Comment by Suganya — April 24, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

  5. Sounds very flavorful Indira. Have never tasted nutmeg in food. I have tried them for baking but otherwise had it as a medicine. This one pot meal looks lovely.

    Comment by Nirmala — April 24, 2008 @ 10:45 pm

  6. First things first! Hats off to your musical(magical) narration. Though the audience is single, the applause is universal. The dish carries the copy right look of Mahanandi, simple comfortfood, well thought out. Must give it a try.

    Comment by Jyotsna — April 24, 2008 @ 11:08 pm

  7. Fabulous. Can’t wait to try this!

    Comment by Neha — April 25, 2008 @ 4:52 am

  8. Indira…this is an impressive one. I am impressed time and again with your improvisations. I can’t wait to try this one.

    I very much agree with Leena Goutam…have you considered coming out with a cook book??

    I have a question for you …where can one buy Matta rice?

    Comment by Akhila — April 25, 2008 @ 8:39 am

  9. Sounds delicious 🙂

    Comment by Felicia — April 25, 2008 @ 12:37 pm

  10. I have never cooked with brownn rice, maybe should start with this recipe. I also second Leena’s suggestion.

    Comment by Madhuram — April 25, 2008 @ 1:15 pm

  11. Ah, and we are just getting the most perfect wild mustard greens in the market this week!

    Comment by the chocolate lady (eve) — April 25, 2008 @ 2:31 pm

  12. Hey, it Sounds delicious!

    Comment by For Spicy Lovers — April 25, 2008 @ 3:14 pm

  13. Hi Indira,

    Nice post
    what is Tara’s house?
    (pardon my ignorance)

    Comment by anu — April 25, 2008 @ 4:33 pm

  14. Every music composer should have reviewers like you. Thank you friends, and I look forward to reading your cookery notes on this recipe.

    Dear Dee: I recommend our own alasanda guggullu to get familiar with the taste of these beans. Simple and easy snack.

    Suganya: Dandelions are delicate greens and for this recipe, we need greens that can withstand long cooking time. Sturdy greens like mustard or collard greens or Chinese yu choy work well.

    Akhila: I bought matta rice at a local Indian grocery shop called Apna Bazar. They are sold under the name Kerala Kothari (Matta) Rice.

    Anu: It’s a Gone with the Wind reference.

    Comment by Indira — April 25, 2008 @ 4:54 pm

  15. Wow ! I am so making this tonight. Love the way you have brought so many ingredients together. A wholesome one pot meal!

    Comment by mystic — April 25, 2008 @ 6:59 pm

  16. Indira, now this recipe surely invokes aesthetic chords…’mrindagam beat’ – wow! What a symphony and melange of moods…even if the audience was private 🙂
    The dish looks wholesome, tempting and nurturing. I always enjoy the use of nutmeg in pullavs. And mustard greens! Now thats something I simply have to try.
    I echo Leena’s comment about your cookbook – a must – and unnecessarily delayed!!!

    Comment by Pritya — April 25, 2008 @ 11:37 pm

  17. I’m singing along here… 🙂

    Comment by Linda — April 26, 2008 @ 8:31 pm

  18. Indira…I tried it! It was a wonderful composition of different flavors. We loved it!! Thanks 🙂

    Hi Akhila,
    It’s little bit different taste, isn’t it? So glad to read that you tried and liked it. Thanks for taking time to letting me know.

    Comment by Akhila — April 30, 2008 @ 7:56 am

  19. Sounds very interesting & healthy too. Will definitely give it a try as I have never enjoyed lobia before. Thanks.

    Comment by Neena — May 8, 2008 @ 7:49 am

  20. Looks delicious , black eyed peas are good for health and tasty.Thanks for the recipe.

    Comment by Laxmi — October 6, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

  21. Oh me oh my, I just enjoyed my now new favorite dish!!!

    Comment by Karino — July 22, 2009 @ 10:08 pm

  22. I have a Sri Lankan friend who used her own combo of spices from her country. when I was pregnant I craved those spices on fresh fish. It was crazy because I’m Native American! I mean really, where do I go on the reservation to get that unique flavor!! I love Indian food! So different from my own native flavors. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    Comment by Shal — May 24, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

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