Black-Eyed Pea Curry with Collards and Potatoes – Vegan with a Vengeance

I’ve finally gotten around to writing my second review from Vegan with a Vengeance. As I mentioned in my review of BLT Mac & Cheeze, I was recently gifted a copy of the 10 year anniversary edition, with the promise that I would try a couple of recipes and review them on this blog.

The BLT Mac and Cheeze was an easy choice. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love mac and cheese…and that gorgeous glossy picture was so enticing, I just had to try it, and I sure am glad I did!

I decided to really push myself with this second choice. There are a few reasons this particular recipe was out of my comfort zone. Even though I live in the south, I’m a recent transplant and don’t have much of a history with black eyed peas or collard greens for that matter, and I only occasionally order a curry dish when I’m at a restaurant. Do I like curry? Sure, but I don’t like the way it smells, so I rarely cook with it in order to avoid having that curry odor lingering in my kitchen.

I am really happy that I ventured into unfamiliar territory with this dish. As it turns out, I have added black-eyed peas to my list of “beans I like”, and I discovered that I am a fan of collards. For some reason I thought they would be bitter, but that’s not the case at all. I’m a bit embarrassed to say this was my first collard experience. I’m pushing 50 and eat a plant based diet for crying out loud!

Overall, I found the dish to be creamy, complex, and mildly spicy. If you like a bit more heat, Isa recommends topping with a bit of Sriracha. I chose to serve over jasmine rice accompanied by the chilled mango-avocado salsa. I left out the cilantro since my husband and I are card carrying members of the cilantro haters club, but feel free to include if you are a fan.

Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone leads you to wonderful new discoveries about yourself and past experiences. I found that the next day when I returned home from work and my kitchen still smelled of curry, instead of cursing and throwing open the windows, I opened the fridge and heated up a very satisfying plate of leftovers.

The full recipe can be found on page184 of Vegan with a Vengeance, and even though the book doesn’t include a photo, you can check out my photo of the dish included with this review. I’ve also included the ingredients and an abbreviated version of the cooking instructions below.

FOR THE MAIN DISH:

1 tablespoon refined coconut oil

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons mild curry powder (I used 1 1/2, but I may up to 2 next time)

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups vegan vegetable broth

1 tablespoon agave nectar

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch pieces

1 pound collards, rough stems removed, leaves chopped into bite sized pieces

1 1/2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (from a 15 oz. can, drained and rinsed)

1 cup coconut milk

FOR THE MANGO-AVOCADO SALSA:

1 ripe avocado, diced

1 ripe mango, diced

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

chopped fresh cilantro for garnish, optional (I opted out of the cilantro)

I chose to prep all of my ingredients in the morning before heading to work, that way the dish came together quickly when I returned home, but If you have a bit of time, you can prepare all at once.

Heat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Salute the onion and jalapeño in the coconut oil for 5 to 7 minutes until the onion is lightly browned. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of curry powder and the garam masala, salt, broth, agave, and tomato paste, stir. Add the potatoes, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, immediately lower the heat to a simmer, and leave the lid ajar so that steam can escape. Let the potatoes cook just until tender, about 5 more minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the salsa ingredients together in a mixing bowl and set aside. If serving with rice, you may want to get that started now as well (cook according to package directions)

Once the potatoes are fork tender, add the collards, black-eyed peas, and coconut milk and stir gently to incorporate. Re-cover, leaving the lid ajar again, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer just until the collards are tender, it should only take a few minutes.

Turn off the heat and taste for salt and spices. Add the remaining curry powder, if needed. Serve over rice, topped with mango avocado salsa.

If you would like to try even more of the recipes from Vegan with a Vengeance, head on over to the “Shop My Favorites” tab for a link to the cookbook on Amazon.

Vegan with a Vengeance

From Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2015

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