Basic Curry

A simple curry is a wonderful way to enjoy a flavorful vegetable dish. For cooks new to the world of curry, this recipe is a good introduction. Don’t worry if you can’t find the specialty spices: the dried version available at your usual grocery store will work just as well, just taste as you go. Pair with whole grain naan or pita bread and serve with a side of greens for a completely satisfying and scrumptious addition to your plant-based recipe arsenal.

Black-Eyed Pea Curry

Black-eyed Pea Curry

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If you love curries but are afraid of cooking them, this is the perfect recipe to start with. The flavors are robust, but the process is simple. If you have difficulty finding some of the spices (cardamom pods are often not available at your typical grocery store), use dried, ground spices, starting with 1/8th of a teaspoon and adjusting  the seasoning to taste. Serve with a side of whole wheat flatbread and top with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, if need to cut the spice.

Servings: 8 (242 g )

Prep Time: 35 min.

Cook Time: 45 min.


  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 8 whole green cardamom pods
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3 whole dried red chiles
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (1") cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 1 (½") piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 medium tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt, divided
  • 3 (15½ oz.) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ tsp. Garam Masala
  • 1 cup water


  1. Heat the canola oil with the cardamom, cloves, chiles, bay leaves, cinnamon, pepper and cumin seeds in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until the spices are fragrant (1 to 2 minutes).
  2. Stir in the ginger and cook until it becomes fragrant and sticky (1 minute).
  3. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion turns deeply browned and sticky. If the onion begins to stick to the bottom of the pot or begins to burn, reduce the heat to medium and splash the pan with a few tablespoons of water, scraping up the browned bits (15 to 20 minutes).
  4. While the onion browns, place the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and purée until they are completely smooth. Set aside.
  5. Stir the garlic into the onion mixture and cook until fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute).
  6. Add the coriander, ground cumin, and turmeric, cooking until they begin to smell toasty (30 seconds).
  7. Stir in the cayenne pepper and 2 tbsp of the yogurt. Cook until heated through, about 1 minute, and then add the remaining yogurt. Continue to stir and cook the yogurt and spices until the contents of the pot are thick and sticky and the liquid from the yogurt has evaporated (2 minutes).
  8. Stir in the tomato purée and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until a film of oil pools on the surface of the sauce (6 to 8 minutes).
  9. Stir the black-eyed peas, garam masala, and water into the tomato mixture. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until a bubble or two breaks at the surface (5 to 7 minutes). Season with salt and serve hot.