Traditional Vegetarian Recipes, Kid-friendly Recipes & Instant Pot Recipes from Indian and International Cuisines

Black Eyed Peas and Chayote Squash Curry – Instant Pot Method

Black Eyed Peas and Chayote Squash Curry – Instant Pot Method

My mom made this curry all the time for our family. Today, I am sharing her actual recipe. I converted the recipe to make it in an Instant Pot. I made this black-eyed peas curry in instant pot, on New Year’s day. New Year’s day is celebrated all over the world with different customs and rituals. We usually go to the temple and offer our prayers. I recently read some articles about the food related New Year’s traditions around the world. In Southern United States, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s day is thought to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year. There are variety of interesting explanations(online) about how this tradition has started.  I decided to share the recipe of this dish made with lucky legumes and clicked step by step pictures on New Year’s day. I didn’t get a chance to draft the recipe until today. This lucky black-eyed peas curry is a nutritious dish to serve on any day especially with steamed rice or roti.



Measuring cup used: 1 Cup = 250ml

Black eyed peas – 3/4 cup

Toor dal – 1/4 cup

Onion – 1(medium size)

Chayote – 1 (Medium size)

Potato- 1 (medium size)

Carrots – 2

Jaggery – small piece(1/2 inch)

Thick tamarind pulp – 1/4 cup(soak a small lemon sized portion of tamarind in warm water and extract the pulp)

Turmeric powder – 1/4 Tsp.

Salt – as needed

Ingredients needed to prepare Curry Paste

Poppy seeds – 1 Tbsp.

Fresh grated coconut – 2 Tbsp.

Vegetable oil – 1 Tbsp.

Red chillies(Byadgi variety) – 4(I added 2 red chillies because my kids like it less spicy)

Coriander seeds – 1 Tbsp.

Methi seeds – 8

Black pepper seeds – 4

Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp.

Mustard seeds – 1/8 tsp.

Cinnamon stick – 1/8 inch

Clove -1

Garlic clove -1


Step 1:

Wash and soak black eyed peas in a bowl of water for 5-6 hours.

Wash and soak toor dal in a bowl of water for 30 minutes.

Step 2:

Wash and chop all the veggies in large cubes.  Place the chopped potato pieces in a bowl of water to prevent them from turning brown.

Step 3:

Discard the soaking water from black eyed beans and toor dal. Add black eyed peas and toor dal  in the instant pot insert. Add 2&1/2 cups water. Add 1/2 Tsp. salt and 1/4 Tsp. turmeric. Mix it well. Add the chopped vegetables and 3/4 portion of the chopped onions on top. Do not mix. (We will use the remaining 1/4 portion of the chopped onions to prepare the curry paste).

Close the lid. Make sure that the sealing ring in placed under the lid and the anti block shield under the lid is placed and pressed in its position correctly. Turn the steam releasing valve on top of the lid to the ‘Sealing’ position.  Pressure cook the vegetables in manual high pressure setting for 7 minutes. Hit manual button. The default pressure setting will be high. Do not change this.  Press on minus ‘-‘  button and set it to 7 minutes. (You can do manual 6 or 8 minutes, depending on how soft you want your peas). You will hear a beep when it is done. Let the pressure release naturally. Instant pot has a indicator pin next to the steam releasing valve to indicate if the steam is released or not. The pin drops down when the steam is completely released. Open the lid when the pin drops down.


Note: While the vegetables and black eyed peas are cooking in the instant pot,  you can prepare the curry paste by following the procedure mentioned in Step 4 and Step 5.

Step 4:

Place a small pan on medium/low heat. When the pan is hot, add poppy seeds and dry roast them stirring continuously until they start to give a nice aroma. Turn off the heat. Transfer them to  bowl and let them cool. Add them to a blender/coffee grinder and powder them.

In the same pan add oil. Roast all the dry ingredients mentioned under curry paste(except poppy seeds and grated coconut) in the oil. Roast them on low heat until the spices start releasing the aroma. Add the 1/4 portion of the chopped onion(which we saved in Step 3) and roast for another minute.  Let them cool.

Step 5:

Add these roasted ingredients into the same blender jar which contains powdered poppy seeds. Add grated fresh coconut. Blend them into a fine paste by adding some water.

Note: If poppy seeds are not powdered before adding the other roasted ingredients, there is a chance that most of the poppy seeds remain whole and the curry will have less flavor.

Step 6:

Add the prepared curry paste in the cooked black eyed peas gravy. Add tamarind concentrate, salt and jaggery. Cook on ‘Saute’ mode for 10 -12 minutes. Add some chopped cilantro(optional).

Step 7:

Turn off the instant pot and transfer the prepared curry to a serving bowl.

Serve with rotis, cooked rice or quinoa and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this dish made with lucky legumes and I wish you all lots of good luck in the New Year.


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