Black Eyed Peas Curry or Lobia Masala is a popular dish in North India, that is so easy and quick to make in the pressure cooker. It is made in an onion-tomato gravy, along with lots of ginger, garlic and aromatic spices. It is perfect to enjoy with some steaming basmati rice and parathas. This is a vegan and gluten free recipe.

Black eyed peas curry in a bowl garnished with cilantro and rice and yogurt on the side

Being a North Indian, I grew up eating Punjabi Black-Eyed Peas Curry, also referred to as Rongi, Chawli or Lobia Masala in different parts of India. Interestingly they are also referred to as cowpeas, and are from the beans family, not peas.

It was very interesting to find that eating Black eyed peas on New Years day is a tradition in Southern United States. They say it brings good luck. We love black eyed peas any time, so I have started to make them on New Years too 🙂

Black eyed peas cook much faster than other beans, which means you can get this meal ready pretty quickly. I have changed this recipe to make it in an Instant Pot, but you could very well use a normal pressure cooker.  The preparation for this curry is very easy and you will love the result. It is a comforting and nutritional meal.

Black eyed peas curry served with rice

Are Black-Eyed Peas Healthy?

Half a cup of cooked black eyed peas, has about 18 grams of carbs, 7 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and less than 1 gram of fat.  They also have a variety of vitamins and antioxidants.

Black-eyed peas are a complex carb that takes longer to digest and keep you full for longer. They are a good source of folate, which makes them great to eat during pregnancy.

Black-eyed peas are very versatile and can be eaten as soup, curry, added to chili, or added to salad. So do incorporate them into your diet.

If you like black-eyed peas, check out hearty and healthy Black Eyed Peas & Spinach Rice.

Curious about pulses used in Indian cooking? Check out my detailed guide about Indian Pulses.

Ingredients

This curry needs very basic ingredients, which I always keep in my pantry. The only preparation needed is soaking the black-eyed peas. They cook much faster if they have soaked well for 4 or more hours. If you forget to soak, then try soaking for 1/2-1 hour in hot water and cook for longer, about 20 mins in the pressure cooker.

I use dry black-eyed peas that I have soaked for 4 hours in this recipe. Using the instant pot to cook the black-eyed peas is a great convenience, and we can use dry black-eyed peas rather than canned. It is also cheaper to use dry peas. If you want to use canned black-eyed peas, check the recipe notes for more details.

Ingredients to make black eyed peas curry

Want more Vegan Recipes? Check out this collection of 65+ Vegan Indian Recipes.

How to Make?

  • Heat oil with some cumin seeds and green chili. The chili is optional.
  • Sauté the onions with ginger and garlic, and then add the tomatoes and spices.
  • Add black-eyed peas and water, stir, and cook on high pressure.
Steps to make black eyed peas curry in instant pot

And the black-eyed peas curry is ready. Garnish with cilantro.

black eyed peas curry in instant pot

I like to add some lemon juice at the end. It adds a great tang to the curry. Really…try adding some lemon juice to all the curries and lentils…it tastes wonderful.

black eyed peas curry, lobia in a ladle over the pressure cooker

Enjoy this curry over basmati rice or with paratha. You can also cook rice pot-in-pot with this curry. When cooking this curry after soaking the peas overnight, cook with white rice pot-in-pot for 12 minutes at high pressure. See my spinach dal recipe for how to cook pot-in-pot rice with a dal or curry.

How to cook in Stovetop Pressure Cooker?

Follow the same process as in the video when cooking on a stovetop pressure cooker. Cook on high flame for 2 whistles and then change to medium-low flame and let it cook for another 12 minutes.

black eyed peas curry (Rongi) with rice

How to serve?

This black-eyed peas curry pairs perfectly with basmati rice. You can also pair it with quinoa or cauliflower rice.

This curry can also be enjoyed as a soup with some added veggies.

Meeta’s Tips

Double the quantity: You can also double this recipe with the same cooking time. The pressure cooker will take longer to come to pressure. This lentil also freezes well, so it is great for meal prep.

Use my Onion Tomato Bhuna Masala: You can use 3/4 cup of this masala and skip onion, tomato, ginger, and garlic in this recipe. Do adjust the spices to your taste.  

Make this a Black Eyed Pea Vegetable Soup

Want to make this a hearty soup? Add some veggies, such as carrots and celery, before pressure cooking. Then stir in some collard greens or spinach, or kale once pressure cooking is completed. Enjoy with some delicious garlic bread on the side.

Black eyed peas soup in a bowl garnished with cilantro

Common Questions

Do we need to soak black-eyed peas before cooking?

Yes, it is best to soak black-eyed peas before cooking. I prefer to soak them for at least 4 hours up to overnight. If you forget to soak, then soak in hot water for 1/2-1 hour before cooking. Soaking also helps to reduce cooking time.

How to store leftover curry?

Leftover cooked black-eyed peas can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze for up to 4 months.
Transfer to the refrigerator to defrost, and then reheat in the microwave for 1-3 minutes, depending on the quantity of curry.

Can I use canned black-eyed peas?

Yes, you can use canned black-eyed peas. Use two 15oz cans in this recipe. Drain the liquid in the can. Add the peas with 1 cup of water and pressure cook for just 1 minute.  

Can I use frozen Black Eyed Peas to make this curry?

You can also use frozen black-eyed peas in this recipe. Follow the same steps and pressure cook for 4 minutes on high pressure. 

I hope you enjoy this delicious lobia masala curry!

Want to find other easy Instant Pot Indian Recipes? Here are 29 Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes for you to try! 

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4.92 from 96 votes

Black Eyed Peas Curry (Indian Lobia Masala) – Instant Pot & Stovetop

Black Eyed Peas Curry or Lobia Masala is a popular dish in North India, that is so easy and quick to make in the pressure cooker. It is made in an onion-tomato gravy, along with lots of ginger, garlic and aromatic spices. It is perfect to enjoy with some steaming basmati rice and parathas.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup Black eyed peas (Lobia), soaked in water for 4 hours up to overnight
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 Green Chili Pepper, diced
  • 1 cup Onion, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon Ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tablespoon Garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Tomato, diced
  • 2 cups Water, for cooking
  • 1 teaspoon Lime juice
  • Cilantro, to granish

Spices

Instructions 

  • Soak the black eyed peas in abundant water for 4 hours or overnight so they are all submerged. When you are ready to cook, drain the water.

Instant Pot Method

  • Start the Pressure Cooker in sauté mode and heat it. Add oil and cumin seeds. Then add the diced green chili pepper.
  • Once the cumin seeds start to splutter, add the onions, ginger and garlic. Let this cook for 3-4 mins. 
  • Add the tomatoes and spices to the instant pot and cook for another 3 mins.
  • Add the drained black eyed peas and water to the instant pot. Stir well. Press Cancel and close the lid with vent in sealing position. 
  • Change the pressure cooker setting to Manual or Pressure Cook mode at high pressure for 12 minutes. 
  • After the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. Stir in the lime juice. Garnish with cilantro and serve with roti/rice.

Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method

  • Follow the same steps as above. Cook on high flame for 2 whistles and then change to medium-low flame and let it cook for another 12 minutes. Then let the pressure release naturally.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Canned Black Eyed Peas: For canned black eyed peas, use two 15-oz cans in this recipe. Drain the liquid in the can, then add the peas with 1 cup of water and pressure cook for just 1 minute.  
Frozen Black Eyed Peas: You can also use frozen black eyed peas in this recipe. Follow the same steps and pressure cook for 4 minutes on high pressure. 
Green Chili Pepper: I typically use Thai, Birdeye or Serrano Chili Pepper in my recipes. Don’t forget to adjust to your taste. 
Forgot to soak: If you forget to soak, then try soaking for ½-1 hour in hot water and cook for longer, about 20 mins in the pressure cooker.
Pot-in-pot rice: You can also cook rice, pot-in-pot with this curry. When cooking this curry after soaking the peas overnight, cook with white rice pot-in-pot for 12 minutes at high pressure. If you are cooking without soaking, then cook brown rice pot-in-pot with this curry and pressure cook for 20 minutes. 
Make it heartier: Add some veggies such as carrots and celery before pressure cooking. Then stir in some collard greens or spinach or kale once pressure cooking is completed. 
Created: This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Pressure Cooker and has been updated to make it even better and easier.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 205kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 11gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 640mgPotassium: 641mgFiber: 6gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 415IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 4mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: North Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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78 Comments

    1. Hey Emily – You are right, it is high pressure. I updated in the recipe instructions as well. Thank you!

  1. Love your recipes! You are my go to for all Indian cooking. You make cooking for us moms who don’t have much time soooo easy and delicious!

    1. Thank you, Reema. So happy to hear that you are finding the recipes helpful to enjoy delicious meals with your family 🙂

  2. Hi Meeta,

    I tried this recipe a couple of days ago, and it turned out well..thank you! I just had some questions:

    I am assuming you used a standard American cup (8 fl. oz.) for the beans? I wasn’t sure how big/small the onion you used was, so I just used approximately 1 cup of roughly chopped onions and 2 cups of tomatoes. Is this the quantity you used in this recipe as well?

    For half cup of black eyed peas, can I reduce all the ingredients by half, including the spices?

    Thanks again 🙂

    1. Hello Dhanya, Glad that the recipe turned out well. I use a medium sized onion, so you are right about 1 cup of onions and 2 cups of tomatoes. I do use the standard cup size 1 cup=8oz. You can half the ingredients for half a cup of dry black eyed peas. The cooking time will remain the same. Last time I soaked the peas for 4 hours and they cooked quickly in just 12 minutes at high pressure. Hope you enjoy them again 🙂

  3. I don’t understand this: Soak the beans for 2 hours and drain the water. Later in the recipe you say to add the beans and water to the instant pot. But you don’t show additional water in the recipe. Are you saying to add back the drained water?

    1. Hey Julie – Sorry for the confusion. The 2 cups water mentioned in the recipe is for cooking. I did not mention a specific amount for soaking. Just soak with lots of water so they are completely submerged. Hope you enjoy the curry 🙂

    1. Hey Debbie – I have not tried with canned peas, but I think 2-3 minutes of cooking would be enough as they would be already cooked. Do let me know how they turn out?