Greens and Beans

1. Black-Eyed Pea and Escarole Curry

Black-Eyed Pea and Escarole Curry with Roasted Eggplant, Millet and an Avocado and Cherry Tomato Salad

This curry is so simple and relatively fast; black eyed peas are the quickest cooking of all dried beans and escarole, like spinach or chard, also can be prepared in a snap. Start by rinsing 1 cup of dried black-eyed peas and placing in a saucepan. cover with around 1/2" water or just a little more. Bring to a boil before lowering to a simmer and covering the pot. Cook for 35 minutes or until the beans are soft. Drain and set aside while you heat 2 T. olive or coconut oil in a large, deep skillet. When the oil is hot add 3-4 cloves of chopped garlic and 2 T. minced or grated ginger. Cook for one minute before stirring in 1 large bunch of escarole, rinsed and roughly chopped. Stir the greens to coat with the oil and aromatics. Sprinkle in 2 t. garam masala and around 1 t. kosher salt. Stir well once again before now adding the reserved beans along with 2 finely chopped tomatoes, 1/2 cup water and 3/4 t. cayenne pepper. Mix everything together, cover the skillet and cook on low heat for 25 minutes. You may need to add a bit more water so check often to make certain nothing is sticking or burning. Adjust the salt, adding more if needed, sprinkle with lemon or lime juice and serve hot, with bread, rice or any grain you like.

2. Chana Saag, the Vegan Version

The richness of our vegan Chana Saag comes from pureed cashews, not heavy cream.

Chana Saag, Turmeric Rice, Spicy Green Lassi and Pappadums. To make the Chana Saag: puree in a blender 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces in 1 cup water until very smooth and thick. Set aside. Heat 2 T. mustard or vegetable or coconut oil in a large skillet. Over a medium flame saute in the skillet 1 onion (finely diced), 1 heaping T. grated ginger and 2 cloves of minced garlic for 3 minutes or until the onions are softening. Add in a dash of cinnamon, 4 crushed cardamom pods, 1/2 t. turmeric powder, 1 t. ground coriander and 1/2 t. cayenne pepper. Stir for a minute or so before pouring 1 can of rinsed and drained chickpeas. Cook over a lower flame for 5 minutes then in goes 2-3 finely chopped tomatoes with their liquid. If the skillet looks a little dry add a T. or two of water. Cover and cook gently for 5 minutes before stirring in 1 large bag of rinsed and chopped fresh spinach (about 7 cups). Cover again and cook over a medium-low flame for 10 minutes, stirring now and then and adding water if needed. Add the reserved cashew cream and cook uncovered until the mixture is thick, around 2 minutes, Now, season with salt to taste and remove from heat. Stir in 1 t. garam masala and serve hot with rice, naan, parathas or any grain you like.


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