Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Swiss Chard and Black-eyed Peas

Creamy flavorful curry with swiss chard and black-eyed peas, cooked with onions and spices. Great with naan breads or simple pilaf.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and she was wondering if I spend half of my life in the kitchen. Well, even if we do assume that I spend half of my life in the kitchen, I would not mind. If someone would take care of the rest of the things for me, I would be happy. The creative process is exhilarating. Well, truth be told : I do not spend a lot of my time in the kitchen, I love recipes that are quick and easy - not semi-home-made. I prefer to make things from scratch- like to know what we eat.  However, my recipes are usually easy and fits my lifestyle of doing multiple things in a day, cooking being one of them. Love working on labor intensive recipes, that require mastery of a technique...that's not something you can do everyday. For everyday it should be simple, soulful and delicious - at least for me.

Last week we visited one of our friends in Moline, it's about three hours drive from home friend has a tiny community farm that she maintains and it was an absolute treat to see it. She was so generous to give me a huge bag of produce and I was thrilled....These swisschard are from her farm. I paired it with blackeyed peas. Loved the combination! The sweetness of the peas with the mild bitterness of swiss chard - perfect balance, caramelized onions and tons of garlic...y u m !
Fresh swiss chard - Simi jois


Here are some of the images from my her farm. It reminded me of fresh produce from India. I remember the vegetable vendor would bring fresh veggies from his farm early morning (he still does), he would carry it in a cart and push it door to door, selling as he went from one home to another.  He would hide some extra fresh stuff for my mom :). My mom buys veggies every single day. It's hardly refrigerated, as she gets it directly from the farmer - it's almost everyday, other than Sunday ! Everyone needs a day off. What we take for granted in one part of the world is such a luxury in another part of the world. I do love farmer's market in the US and love to shop in the summer, but the luxury of having the farmer home deliver is something I can only dream off. I was super excited to get fresh organic produce and needless to say it was super delicious.

Swiss chard and black-eyed peas curry 


  • 2 red onions (small)- diced 
  • 2 tomatoes - diced 
  • 3 pods garlic - diced
  • 2 inch ginger - diced
  • 3 cups swiss chard - diced
  • 11/2 cup black-eyed peas soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp onion seeds (kalonji)
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp organic turmeric 
  • 2 tbsp garam masala blend - recipe here
  • salt to taste
  • juice of half lime
  • fresh tomato for garnish 
  • cilantro for garnish
Takes 25 min plus time to cook the black-eyed peas
serves 4.


  1. Soak the black-eyed peas over night and cook it in a pressure cooker till tender - or on stove top. Do not add much water, drain excess. The water usually has all the nutrition - so we do not want to waste it, save it for soup stock. 
  2. Heat oil in sauce pan add, cumin and kalonji let it splatter - add diced onions, caramelize it, add ginger and garlic. Sauté. 
  3. Add the diced tomatoes  till everything is integrated - add salt, turmeric, garam-masala and sauté. 
  4. Now add the swiss chard and roast, till it is cooked. Now add the cooked black-eyed peas and mix. Check for salt. Add the lime juice. 
  5. Garnish with  fresh diced tomatoes and cilantro. 
  6. Serve hot with your favorite great or pilaf

Swiss chard - Simi Jois photography


Farm produce - simi Jois photography



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  1. The farm images are undoubtedly so gorgeous. Why don't you picture more farm to table? But the black eye peas took all the charm in this post. It's so so so pretty!!!! Specially the play if light and shadow on them. Keep posting more of these recipes - I am trying this today, will keep you updated. :)

  2. Okay, I made this today however I have twisted the recipe a bit. I have added chickpea instead of peas, added tomato in the beginning and added Chana masala powder. Thanks to you, it's our current favorite 😘😍


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