In our house we love mushrooms, and there were some beautiful white button mushrooms in the market this week. Many years ago, when our kids were little, this dish was in regular rotation. I got the original recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking, the first Indian cookbook I owned and still a good one. She called this dish Lobhia aur khumbi and back then I followed her directions slavishly, soaking and cooking the black-eyed peas and using fresh tomatoes. Lately, I’ve been using canned black-eyed peas and canned diced tomatoes and it is still pretty darn good, and it is low-fat and vegetarian for those of you who like that sort of thing.
1 15.5 OZ can of black-eyed peas.
1 14.5 OZ can of diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glenn)
8 OZ fresh button mushrooms cut through the stem into 1/8th inch slices
3 TBS Canola oil
1 TSP whole cumin seeds
A 1 inch stick of cinnamon
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
2 TSP ground coriander seeds
1 TSP ground cumin seeds
½ TSP ground turmeric
¼ TSP cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the oil over high heat in a non-stick frying pan. When hot add the cinnamon stick and whole cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds. Put in the onion and sauté until it browns a bit. Add the mushrooms and stir and fry until they wilt and give off their juices. Add the garlic and stir.
Put in the tomatoes, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Stir and cook for a minute until it bubbles. At his point I transfer it all to a saucepan. Bring it back to a simmer, turn the heat to low, cover and let it get happy for ten minutes.
Then add the un-rinsed black-eyed peas and a can of water (use the tomato can and get the last of the goodness), stir and bring back to a robust simmer. Let this cook down for 30 minutes or so, adjusting your simmer and stirring from time to time so it doesn’t stick.
When it is nicely thickened add chopped cilantro and serve over Basmati rice and/or with Indian bread and assorted chutneys.
(Photo: R.L. Floyd,, 2017)