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Vegan Spiced Black-Eyed Peas with Curry Leaves

February 15, 2012
This dish can be even be more delicious with swapping high-quality, healthier ingredients.(Photo by: dharmabumx)

By Lisa Roberts-Lehan

Enjoy the rich Indian flavors in Saveur magazine’s Spiced Black-Eyed Peas with Curry Leaves, made all the more delicious when you sub in these higher-quality, nutrient-rich ingredients:

Better oil:  Replace peanut oil with organic extra-virgin olive oil, organic extra-virgin coconut oil or organic ghee from grass-fed cows. Cultures around the world use these culinary heavyweights for their beautifying and health-giving properties — think radiant skin, slim waistline and a strong immune system.

Organic flour:  Boost nutrients with organic chickpea or garbanzo bean flour.  Organic flours are free of harmful synthetic pesticides, chemicals, sprays and fertilizers.

Organic, lower-glycemic sweeteners:  Replace jaggery (an Indian sugar) and processed brown sugar with organic coconut palm sugar or local organic raw honey, two lower-glycemic sweeteners packed with health-giving properties.  Use a one-to-one ratio for the palm sugar and a one-to-three ratio for the honey.

Fresh beans: Use fresh beans from your local farmer’s market instead of canned varieties (the Local Harvest website can help you find local markets and producers in your area).  If you’re short on time, chose organic canned beans with no salt added.

Better salt: Substitute mineral-rich and toxin-free Himalayan crystal salt or Real Salt from Utah for table salt.

Organic greens:  Boost the nutritional value of this dish with chopped organic kale, collards, chard or spinach.  Add the greens just before serving so the leaves retain their beautiful color.

Finally, you’ll see that the original recipe calls for asafetida, a powdered gum resin with a strong onion-garlic flavor that’s used in Indian dishes, and available in Indian or health food stores.  If you can’t find it in your area, substitute organic onion or garlic powder, or simply omit it from the recipe.


Image courtesy of Flickr user dharmabumx.

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