Living Vegan In Charlotte, NC

Virtual Vegan Potluck – Punjabi Black Eyed Peas With Wilted Ginger Greens (Fusion Dish)

punjabi greens and beans 2

Wow, what a day Saturday, May 11th is!  Not only the Virtual Vegan Potluck but Charlotte’s Second Annual Vegfest!  I am SOO excited!!!

Thanks for stopping by to sample my Indian fusion dish.  No, it’s not Indo-Chinese fusion – it’s a fusion of North India and the American South!

Let me explain.

I’ve had a couple of food obsessions the past few years.

One, learning to cook traditional North Indian food.

Two, veganizing all the comfort foods of the American South I grew up on.

So I guess it’s no surprise my latest obsession is “Indian Fusion.”  Combining elements from the American South foods I grew up on with the North Indian/Punjabi flavors both my partner and I love.

It’s always amazed me how we grew up on such different parts of the earth and yet there are so many similarities in the foods we ate growing up.

Growing up in the American South – Charlotte, NC to be precise, as you may have guessed from the title of my blog – a typical menu was a pot o’ beans and a mess o’ greens.

On the other side of the world, in Goraya, my partner was also eating beans and greens.

Maybe the bean part isn’t that surprising. Indian food celebrates a wide variety of almost every kind of bean and lentil imaginable.

However, I had a  faulty image that Indian greens were always “just” spinach.  Turns out all kinds of greens are used for saag in India – including collards, kale, turnip greens, and mustard greens!

One of my favorite meals growing up was a pot of black eyed peas and mustard greens.  What if I gave it a slightly Indian twist?  To do this, I’d use black eyed peas – a bean my partner swears he never ate in India.  I’d keep the Southern seasonings of lots of garlic, jalapeno pepper, and tomatoes, but add some cumin seeds and garam masala.  As far as the greens went, my plan was to use mustard greens and season them with ginger – a typically Indian spice – but instead of cooking them in a pressure cooker and blending them into a paste, I’d leave them whole and saute until just wilted.

Black Eyed Peas

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil (yes, traditionalists will cringe, but this is fusion here)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin Seeds
  • 6 – 8 Cloves Garlic, chopped or pressed
  • Jalapeno Pepper, diced
  • 1 large Roma Tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup canned Chunky Crushed Tomatoes (you could substitute a can of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 Teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • About 4 cups cooked Black Eyed Peas, or 2 14-oz cans Black Eyed Peas
  • 2 Cups Water

Heat the olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan.

Add the cumin seeds and gently stir until they start to sizzle and “pop” – about 30 seconds.  You want them slightly browned, not burnt.

Add the garlic and jalapeno pepper.  (Jalapenos are traditional American South; for a more traditional Indian version, use 2 diced green chilies).  Cook for about two minutes.

Add both the Roma and canned tomatoes.  (It’s important to use both, the canned tomatoes make it saucy but the Roma tomato gives it freshness.)  Add the Garam Masala and salt.  Simmer about 5 minutes or so.

Add the black eyed peas.  (If using canned, drain and rinse the beans first.)  Add the water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 15 minutes.

Gingered Greens

  • 8 cups Mustard Greens (you could also use turnip greens, kale, or spinach)
  • About a 1-inch piece of Ginger, chopped or grated
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Teaspoon Salt

Heat the olive oil up in a large skillet and add the ginger.  Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.

Reduce to medium heat.  Add the greens, as much as the skillet will hold.  Stir gently and place the lid on the skillet.  The greens will start wilting; when they do, remove the lid and add more greens.  Stir, turning the greens over so the wilted greens are on top.  Replace the lid.  Repeat until all the greens are wilted.  Sprinkle with salt and stir.

Line a bowl with the greens and ladle the black eyed peas on top.  Stir.  Eat.  Enjoy.

Note:  If you’re planning on leftovers, cook only half the greens, and cook the other half when you reheat the beans.  The greens taste better fresh.

punjabi greens and beans

Did you have the chance to sample the dish before mine  – Blue Eyed Bookworm’s Lemon Garlic Scallops?

And you don’t want to miss the next potluck dish coming up … a raw yellow beet ravioli … from one of my favorite bloggers … Eat Live Burp.

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: Indian & Indian Fusion, Meatless Mains, Vegan Recipes

28 Responses »

  1. Thanks for sharing! I will have to experience more recipes with black eyed peas someday! That looks tasty!

    ♡ rika, vegan miam
    ★ we travel + eat vegan blog ★

  2. This looks really delicious! I love fusion. Can’t wait to try this.

  3. Garam Masala makes everything taste amazing!

  4. What a delicious combination of flavors! Thank you very much for joining the Potluck!

  5. What a yummy creative fusion dish! Happy VVP!

    – alexis

  6. Yummy! This would be a refreshing change from the usual South Indian “sundal” I make with black eyed peas, thanks for an awesome recipe:)

    • Have you posted your sundal recipe yet? I’d love to try it! Amrik claims he never ate black eyed peas growing up; yet I’ve seen black eyed peas in the Indian grocery. Perhaps they are more frequently used in South Indian cooking than North Indian?

      • It’s very common in south India especially during “navrathri” where a different “sundal” is made on each of the 9 days of the festival. I have a garbanzo sundal recipe on the blog, black eyed peas can be used instead of garbanzo.

  7. Yummy, spicy and comforting! Fun to see you here Charlotte!

    • Thanks, Somer, but my name’s not Charlotte. I am blogging about being a vegan in Charlotte, NC. You’re actually friends with me on Facebook under my real name 🙂

      • Doh… I must’ve been reading tooo many potluck posts in a row and got stuck in a brain fog. I know your name is Catherine. Sorry for the flub 😦 xx

      • Don’t worry about it, Somer! A lot of people (outside the American South) make the same assumption. I’ve changed the url to my blog to and may change the name to VegCharlotteNC to keep it clearer! Oh, btw, voted for your Mango Sticky Rice Cake … or Sticky Mango Rice Cake … or Cakey Mango Sticky Rice … whatever it was, it had my vote!

  8. Yay for fusion food. This looks really good. Thank you for the recipe. I really like recipes that are so easy to follow with basic ingredients that you can get all over the world. Thanks!

  9. Oo yum, this sounds amazing with all of those spices! I mean either the gingery greens or black eyed peas alone would be good too, though I’m sure they’re even better together! 🙂

    • Oh, my goodness. I grew up with onions, garlic, and sometimes hot peppers in greens but using ginger instead is absolutely amazing!!! It has to be fresh ginger; this is one instance where the ginger paste won’t wok. And here’s a tip, from a gal who grew up eating black eyed peas … Garlic. Long as you have lots and lots of garlic, it’s good.

      • Yes, I believe you! And don’t worry, I always keep fresh ginger in the fridge (wrapped in a paper towel in my cheese drawer, actually 🙂 ). Ginger and garlic are musts in so much of my cooking. That’s why all of the flavors you used in your VVP recipe are right up my alley! I might actually try this with another kind of beans, like chickpeas or something… (We always have dried chickpeas, pinto beans, and lentils in the house, but I don’t think I’ve ever bought or cooked with black-eyed peas… I love how you Indian-ized them in this recipe, though!)

      • Chickpeas would work really well in this recipe!

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