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

Brinjal with Blackeyed Beans ~ for Jihva

Pedatha Avva (My grandmother)
Jigyasa and Pratibha’s Pedatha …………… My Avva (Grandmother)

In my unremarkable childhood, the only remarkable thing was the summer holidays I used to spend at my grandmother’s home at Nandikotkur every year. My grandmother, a mother of four daughters and four sons is a ritubidda (farmer’s daughter), and a saint like person. She was my guru and a friend growing up, and I learned devotion from her.

Like Jigyasa and Pratibha’s Pedatha, my grandmother is also from a “do one thing at a time” generation. This philosophy was more evident in the kitchen than anywhere else. Cooking was an unconsciously clever and creative act, and done in a unhurried manner to everyone’s satisfaction. One of my favorite recipes from my grandmother is brinjal with black-eyed peas. Seasoned with ginger and green chillies, and served with sorghum roti, this simple preparation with heavenly aroma was a daily breakfast for us. Science has shown that our sense of smell is the first one to be associated with memory. I have to agree, and I still associate ginger flavored brinjal smell to my grandmother’s kitchen. The same recipe has also been featured in the award winning Pedatha’s cookbook.

I prepared this dish with reverence to my beloved avva and in memory of Pedatha.

“From food all creatures are produced. And all creatures that dwell on earth, by food they live and into food they finally pass. Food is the chief among being. Verily he obtains all good who worships the Divine as food.”
-from Upanishads

Brinjal and Blackeyed Beans (Vankaya , Alasanda) Vankaya Alasanda Kura, Photo Taken Before our Lunch today

Alasanda Vankaya (Brinjal with Black-eyed Beans)
(for Jihva Love ~ A Tribute to Tradition)

10 -12 round variety green or purple brinjals, cut to thin pieces lengthwise
Half cup black-eyed peas. Soaked in water overnight, and cooked to tender
4 small variety Indian green chillies and one inch piece of ginger – coarsely grind
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
1 tablespoon peanut oil and tadka ingredients

Place a wide skillet on stovetop. Add and heat peanut oil. Add and toast tadka ingredients (garlic, cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves) to golden. Add the brinjal pieces to skillet. Cover the skillet. The round variety brinjals cook to tender within minutes. After about five minutes of cooking time, remove the lid. Add the black-eyed peas and green chilli-ginger paste. Also turmeric and salt. Mix. Sauté on medium heat for another five to ten minutes. Serve hot with sorghum roti or chapati, for a filling meal.

Busy days. See you again on Sunday.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Blackeye Beans,Ginger & Sonti,Jihva For Ingredients,Vankaya (Brinjal) (Monday April 28, 2008 at 5:27 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

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)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Black-Eyed Bean Dip


I had an another recipe in mind with black-eyed bean sprouts for today’s meal. But I accidentally over-cooked the beans to mush. Thus born the bean dip for rotis.

The beautiful pale red color of the dip is from chipotle chillies. I really love how the spicy chipotle perk up a recipe with smoky flavor. I have also added fragrant cumin and lively lime juice to the pureed beans. The dip may be a last minute solution to the mushed bean problem, but the result was attractive and had a great taste, similar to refried beans that they serve in Mexican restaurants.

Overcooked Black-Eyed Bean Sprouts and Black-Eyed Bean Dip


Precooked black-eyed bean sprouts or beans – 1 cup
Dried chipotle chillies – 2 (presoaked in warm water for about 30min)
cumin – half teaspoon
salt – half teaspoon or to taste
Lime juice -2 tablespoons or to taste

Take the chipotle chillies and cumin in a Sumeet style mixer or food processor. Pulse few minutes until the chillies are very smooth. Add the black-eyed bean sprouts, salt and lime juice. Process to fine puree. Remove to a cup and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to let the flavor develop. Serve with roti/tortillas or corn/taro root chips.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Blackeye Beans,Dried Red Chillies,Sprouts (Molakalu) (Monday August 6, 2007 at 2:48 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Series of Sprouts ~ Black-Eyed Pea Sprouts

Alasanda Molakalu

Black-Eyed Pea Sprouts

These black-eyed peas are from Indian grocery shop (Apna Bazar, Bellevue), and are imported from India like most of the lentils and legumes. Sprouting was easy with these peas. But when I tried the same last week with some American store-bought black-eyed peas, they didn’t sprout. Same thing happened with Adzuki beans.

Are these American peas and beans genetically modified? Why aren’t they coming to life?

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Blackeye Beans,Sprouts (Molakalu) (Sunday August 5, 2007 at 9:40 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Yogi Diet With Blackeye Beans (Alasanda Guggulu)

Back to our life here, sort of “The Truman Show“. Like Truman character in the movie, we do realize we are never going to be satisfied here in this picture-perfect world, unlike we thought before. Few more years, that’s what we planned and that’s what we are going to do with patience. And the in-between visits to India are like pilgrimage and therapy to our souls.

For India trip – we just don’t shop, pack and leave. Like any pilgrimage, we follow a 3-month ritual preparing for our trip to India. At least 3 months before, we finalize the dates and purchase tickets (the only way, we can obtain tickets at a discount price $1300 to 1600 roundtrip). Then we would focus our total concentration on health and fitness. Our motherland is not for fainthearted and weak bellies, she tests the strength and stamina, and so we always go prepared. At first we start slowly stop eating all kinds of junk available here, try to reduce the food portions, increase our daily exercise routine and expose our body to the elements (walk daily in a park trail, from 4 miles a day gradually increasing to 8 miles). We struggle a lot during this month. Then in second month, our bodies adjust to this new routine, we do feel more energetic, lean and with positive energy. And the last month we go into yogi diet, all nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, of course yogurt and lots of water. There is no pain or cravings anymore. Mind is in total control of the body, immune system awake and a happy heart. This is our India trip preparation.

Example of our yogi diet is this recipe with blackeye beans. Back home, during fasting and after long pujas at temples they are prepared and served as Guggullu.

I did Americanize it a bit by adding the fresh sweet corn.

Soaked Blackeye Beans(Alasandalu), Onion, Tomato and Corn

(serves two)

1 cup of black eye beans, soaked in water overnight, drained
1 fresh corn, kernels sliced
1 red onion and tomato, diced
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Salt to taste and pinch of turmeric
Juice of half lime

In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the beans, water and one teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and let the beans simmer until tender and drain. Or simply pressure-cook them (they cook in less time in this way, but you have to watch them closely. Turn off the heat immediately after the first whistle, otherwise they are more likely to overcook and break apart. We don’t want that).

In a saute pan, heat half teaspoon of peanut oil over medium heat. Add the corn, onions, tomato and green chilli, saute until corn is tender crisp for about five minutes. Add the black eye beans (Alasandalu) to the corn mixture along with 1/4 tsp of salt, turmeric and lime juice. Toss to mix and serve immediately.

Blackeye beans and sweet corn salsa (Alasanda Guggullu)

We had guggullu and a cup of tomato rasam plus yogurt on the side for our meal today. It was a good yogi diet.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Blackeye Beans (Thursday September 1, 2005 at 9:01 am- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Black-Eyed Pea Fritters (Alasanda Vada)

Alasanda (black-eyed peas) vada is a Raayalaseema specialty. They are prepared for special occasions and usually served with chicken curry. They are eaten usually dunked in Chicken gravy. I prefer them with vegetable gravy curries like potato kurma or with dal and rice. They taste great just as they are too.

If you already know and make vadas or fritters with other type of dals, like and enjoy the taste of them, then you must try this black-eyed pea version. You will be surprised about how good they taste. The recipe is again one of those passed from generation to generation, and also one of my all time favorites. And I am very happy to share this with you all, my readers.

Soak 2 cups of black-eyed peas (Alasandalu) in water for overnight. They expand in water, so choose a big vessel for soaking. In the morning, drain the water and pat the rehydrated black-eye peas to dry using a cotton cloth.

Blackeye Peas, (alasandalu, bobbarlu) Soaking in Water After soaking in water - Blackeye peas

Ingredients to make vada or fritters:

1 big onion, finely chopped
5 green chillies, chopped
1×1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2 cloves
1 teaspoon of salt or to taste,
Peanut oil, about two to three cups to deep fry

Alasandalu, Onion, Ginger, Green Chillies, Cloves

Alasanda BatterGrind the blackeye peas, ginger, cloves, salt and green chillies into coarse batter in a food processor or mixer without adding water. Just before removing the batter add the finely cut onion pieces. Grind few seconds more. The batter must be solid, and if you make a round with it, it must hold the shape without running to the edges. So do not add water while grinding the peas.

Remove the batter to a vessel. You can use your hands or small cotton cloth to make vadas. Using your left hand is very convenient. First wash and dry your hands. Take small amount of batter in a ball shape, put that ball on your left palm and flatten it lightly and make a hole in the middle. Drop gently into hot oil from the side of kadai or pan.

Giving the Alasanda batter 'vada' shape on my hand Alasanda Vadas deep frying in oil

In batches, deep fry them in hot peanut oil, turning them until they are golden-brown on both sides. Takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes, each batch.

Serve them hot with gravy curry for a genuine Raayalaseema experience or with a condiment of your choice.

Alasanda(bobbarla) Vadalu - Blackeye Pea Fritters

Black-eyed pea fritters (Alasanda/Bobbarla vada)

Recipe Source: Amma

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Blackeye Beans (Sunday April 3, 2005 at 8:18 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: