Indian Black-Eyed Pea Salad

In the past few years beans have gotten quite an image makeover with companies like Rancho Gordo selling gorgeous, colorful heirloom varieties.  Even the names are exciting: Black Valentine!  Sangre de Toro!  Rio Zape!

Perhaps you’ve notice the bean renaissance as well?  Either in your local restaurants or on some other food blogs?   As a big bean fan, I’m pleased as punch.  Although I do sometimes worry that some humble supermarket beans are being left behind.

Case in point?  Black-eyed peas.

Are you somebody who eats black-eyed peas once every New Year for good luck and then sidelines them for the rest of the year?  If you are, I hope I can encourage you to work them into a more frequent rotation.

If you’re entirely new to black-eyed peas I highly recommend making this cheddar and garlic black-eyed pea dip for your next game day.  Just about everybody who has ever tried it for asks for the recipe.

And once you’ve become a full-on black-eyed pea fan, come on back and make this hearty Indian bean salad.

Black-eyed peas combine with tomatoes, onion, and some common Indian spices before getting drizzled with a fragrant and flavorful mustard seed tadka, a hot oil infused with mustard seeds.

You can boil your own beans and use fresh tomatoes or used canned versions of both.  I’ve made it both ways many times and it’s great either way.  This time I used some colorful heirloom tomatoes to punch up the colors a bit.

I do want to warn you that there’s some definite heat to this salad.  If you’d like to tone things down, I’d recommend either using a Jalapeno in lieu of the Serrano, or cutting back a bit on the cayenne.


Indian Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Yield: 6 servings

Total Time: 20 minutes


* 3 cups cooked black-eyed peas (approximately two 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed)
* 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
* 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
* 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* 3 Tablespoons lime juice
* 1-inch piece ginger, grated (I freeze peeled ginger and use my Microplane zester for this)
* 1 Serrano chile pepper, minced (seed it first or use a Jalapeno if you'd prefer less heat)
* 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 Tablespoon oil
* 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds


In a large bowl combine the black-eyed peas, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, ginger, chile pepper, cumin, cayenne and salt and toss to mix. Taste and adjust salt, if necessary.

In a small skillet or saucepan heat the oil over high heat. When it begins to smoke, add the mustard seeds and immediately cover the pan with a lid or a splatter screen. Remove from the heat immediately after the seeds have stopped popping. Pour the mustard seeds and oil over the black-eyed pea mixture. Toss well and serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve.

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3 Responses to “Indian Black-Eyed Pea Salad”

  1. #
    Anonymous — September 17, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Thanks for the reminder to make your garlic and cheddar black eyed pea dip- The whole family LOVES it! Think they'd be happy if I made it weekly!


  2. #
    swati — September 18, 2012 at 4:12 am

    love the salad! its a perfect quick fix….the flavours sound pretty great!


  3. #
    plasterers bristol — April 27, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Hmm these look delicious, thanks for posting up this recipe, looks quite simple to make.



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