After much hesitation, I finally caved and am now the proud owner of an 8-quart Instant Pot!
I never disliked the Instant Pot, nor did I have any negative things to say about it. I just grew up using pressure cookers and have two at home that I regularly use. So when I did my research and found that the Instant Pot basically functions as an automated version of a pressure cooker, I told myself that I don’t need yet another large appliance in my kitchen.
However, this past Christmas, my my mom found an 8-quart instant pot at a super discounted price and bought it for me as a gift.
And who am I kidding…what food blogger can say no to another fun kitchen appliance. Especially when it’s so unbelievably popular! Plus, I was in need of replacing my large pressure cooker anyway, so the timing was impeccable.
Now before I dive into this unbelievable easy vegan black eyed peas recipe and my first experiences cooking with the instant pot, let’s talk a little about pressure cooker cooking and why I love that method.
Pressure Cooker Cooking
How many of you grew up in a household where you heard the loud noise of a screeching pressure cooker going off every other day with the occasional explosion that sent food up all over the kitchen ceiling?!
I’m assuming most of you nodding your head grew up in an Indian household where pressure cooker cooking was a common method for preparing meals. It made cooking legumes and veggies fast and easy.
My mom used a pressure cooker almost every other day, so I was quite accustomed to that method of cooking. I still have childhood memories of being warned to stay away from it in the kitchen when it was doing its magic.
Lucky for us, modern-day pressure cookers now take that risk out of pressure cooking. They now have a safety feature that prevents excess pressure from building up and locking lid handles that will not open up until the pressure is released and it is safe.
As I mentioned above, I use my pressure cooker at least once or twice a week and absolutely love it! I use it to make just about anything…steamed vegetables, soups of all kinds, vegetable dishes, curries, sauces, cooked beans-legumes, and baby food purees (fruits & vegetables) when my kids were younger.
There are several advantages to this method of cooking vs. others:
Saves time when preparing meals. It’s just so darn fast when it comes to cooking food! Food cooks up to 70% faster when using a pressure cooker. I’ve made several vegetable curries and hearty healthy soups by simply adding everything into the pressure cooker, making it a one-pot meal.
Foods retain most of their nutrients and are tastier. The longer foods are cooked, the more nutrients are destroyed. When you use a pressure cooker, food cooks much faster and uses a lot less liquid, leaving the food with most of its color, texture, nutrients, and flavor, as well as minerals and vitamins. Traditional cookware takes much longer and uses much more liquid to cook the same type of food, thereby loosing these nutrients.
Efficiency. Pressure cooking is more efficient. Not only does a pressure cooker cook food faster, but it also saves you the hassle of using several pots on a stove, and therefore, less cleaning.
So let’s move on to the Instant Pot.
I’m no guru when it comes to the Instant Pot. I just got mine this past Christmas and am still experimenting with it. But so far, it’s great!
It operates pretty similarly to my pressure cooker when it comes to the outcome, but it’s automated! So you no longer have to guess when to turn off the pressure cooker, hoping your food will be not be over or under-cooked. You can simply set a temperature level and timer and walk away.
It’s fast and easy, making it perfect for people who are away from home all day but still want to come back to a delicious healthy home-cooked meal and not spend an entire hour cooking. Either set it in the morning or once you get home since it cooks so fast!
Legumes (lentils and beans) are a huge staple in our house and are a great source of fiber and protein, especially for a vegan diet. Having some type of pressure cooking appliance makes it easy to cook and season them in a short amount of time instead of constantly having to rely on canned pre-cooked products.
Since I was already used to using my pressure cooker, I found it quite easy to transition over to the Instant Pot.
The Instant Pot also has other functionalities. Temperature controls, timing adjustments, and even a saute function that I need and love. There are additional pre-set cooking functions that takes the guess work out as far as time and temperature (such as Rice, Steam, Soup, Bean, etc.) and a setting to make yogurt (which I typically always made stove-top or in the microwave so I’m curious to try it out).
So to sum it all up, yes…so far I like the Instant Pot and it’s functionality. If you already own a good pressure cooker and are used to using it, I’d say you’re not missing out on much unless you hate the guess-work for cooking times or hate the fact that you can’t leave while it’s cooking. But if you’re new to pressure cooker cooking then I highly recommend investing in an Instant Pot! They always go on sale, so just keep an eye out. It’ll change the way you cook and prepare meals.
Indian Vegan Black Eyed Peas Recipe
Many people forget about black eyed peas, but their health benefits are pretty amazing. Here are 5 reasons why they are one of my favorite legumes:
- Contains magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, and other essential nutrients
- High in fiber and good for digestion
- Good source of protein
- Perfect in texture and flavor (not very bean-y when cooked)
- Great for stews, curries, or even sauteed dry once cooked
This vegan black eyed peas recipe has been a huge hit over the years, but needed a major make-over.
I’ve not only improved the recipe and updated the photographs, but also included instructions on how to make it using an Instant Pot! Of course, if you don’t own an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, there are stove-top instructions included as well.
This Indian black eyed peas recipe was passed down to me from my mom. She’d make it growing up, and since then I’ve added a few ingredients to make it my own. You can serve it with some cooked rice or quinoa, alongside some curried vegetables, or with fresh tortilla.
This vegan black eyed peas recipe is easy to make, healthy, and the entire family loves it! To turn it into a complete meal, add some fresh spinach into the mix. If your toddler has trouble eating the large peas, you can always quickly pulse this curry dish in a blender or use a hand blender to make it smoother and easy for your little one to eat.
So if you’ve never had black eyed peas before, need another awesome vegan Instant Pot recipe to add into your meal rotation, or are looking for a one-pot delicious Indian recipe, grab a bag of them at the store and give this recipe a try!
Let me know what you think of this recipe by leaving a rating below, and comment whether or not you want to see more Instant Pot recipes on the blog. I have a bunch of pressure cooker recipes already on the blog that I plan on updating to include Instant Pot directions. And as always, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @vegetariangastronomy with all your re-makes!
Vegan Black Eyed Peas Curry (Instant Pot)
- 1 cup dried black eyed peas , soaked in water for about 1-2 hours (see notes below)
- 2 cups water
- 3 dried curry leaves
- 1/8 teasp mustard seeds
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 medium white onion , finely chopped
- 2.5 tbsp tomato paste , from can
- 1 teasp ground cumin
- 1 teasp ground coriander
- 1/4 teasp ground turmeric
- 3 teasp jaggery , or brown sugar
- 2 teasp fresh lemon juice
- chili powder , (optional) to taste
- cooking oil , such as grapeseed or avocado oil
- 2 cup fresh spinach , chopped (optional)
- fresh cilantro , finely chopped
- Select the Saute button (normal) on the Instant Pot and add 2 teasp cooking oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
- Add the onions and garlic. Saute until fragrant and the onions start to become translucent. Be sure not to burn either. If you see this happening add more oil or turn down the saute heat.
- Quickly add the tomato paste, ground cumin, and ground coriander. Combine and cook for a minute mixing frequently.
- Drain the soaked black eyed peas and add them into the Instant Pot.
- Mix in the water, turmeric, chili powder (if using), jaggery, fresh lemon juice, and 1 teasp salt.
- Add in the fresh chopped spinach, if using (see notes below).
- Close the Instant Pot lid, select the Pressure Cook button to cook on high. Set the timer for about 13-15 minutes (be sure to turn the 'keep warm' button off unless enjoying immediately).
- When the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Once the pressure has been released, remove the lid, and press the Saute (normal-low) button again on the Instant Pot. The black eyed peas should be fully cooked.
- Simmer for a few more minutes until the curry becomes thick.
- Add salt to taste. Also feel free to adjust the amount of lemon juice and jaggery as needed.
- Turn the Instant Pot off. Add freshly chopped cilantro and serve hot as is, over cooked rice, or alongside some Naan or fresh roti!
Spinach - I love adding fresh spinach to this recipe for veggies and greens. You can also sub for any other veggies, such as shredded carrots and/or zucchini.
Love this dish, making it today!
Awesome! My kids love this dish! We actually just had it this morning!
I’m going to try tomorrow
You’ll love it! Let me know how it turned out!
What do you recommend for a pressure cooker, mine broke
So I current use and have been using pressure cookers from India that people have brought back from me. BUT, that is a great question because although i’m used to the pressure cookers from India, I find that they are not durable and of course it’s hard to get replacements.
I did a little research a few months ago on pressure cookers and have heard good things about FAGOR brand pressure cookers. They carry them at Macy’s and come on sale their quite often. I have an aunt who bought 4 FAGOR pressure cookers from Macy’s and loves them. In addition she has one large one from PRESTIGE. So if I were to go buy one right now, I’d probably buy FAGOR brand. Let me know which one you end up purchasing and whether or not you liked it! I use my pressure cooker 2-3x a week and love what it can do!
I got the seal of approval for this recipe from my in-laws who loved the dish. The brown sugar really gives it the perfect touch of sweetness.
The In-Law seal of approval goes a long way…great that you were able to make this dish for them!
Made this for dinner last night – great dish! I didn’t have tomato paste on hand, so used one fresh tomato, and also reduced the brown sugar to 1 Tbsp. Will be making this again! Tonight it is tortilla soup, will post later tonight :).
Awesome! So glad you liked this dish! It’s one of our favorite curries and it’s so easy to make! I’ll have to try it with fresh tomatoes sometime instead of tomato paste…I don’t always like to open up a small can of tomato paste if that’s all I’m using it for =) Also, the recipe actually states 1 T (i have 3 t meaning 3 teasp. on there). I’ve found that sometimes I’ve missed the T vs. t measurement myself, so I’ve changed the way I write out the recipes recently to be more clear, but still need to go back and fix the older recipes =) Sorry about that!! But seems like you made the adjustment yourself perfectly!
Ah tortilla soup…I love that recipe!
Looks great cant wait to eat it
Thanks! Let me know if you try it!
Made this the other day and loved it. I have a 4-year old who is a very picky eater and I am always concerned she is not eating enough nutritious stuff, so am always looking for recipes that are easy and would appeal to her. And this one did, so thanks. Will definitely make this again.
This is one of my kids favorites as well! So glad you all loved it! Thanks for the comment!
Just made this for my husband and toddler, so comforting and tasty. Hope my hubs and babe enjoys it as much as I am. Thank you
Ps: I’m always on the lookout for Indian plant-based meals. Thank you for your site xx
Hi Neerali! Thank you so much for trying it out and so glad you guys loved it! Thanks for the comment and no problem about the grammer loved reading it! If you want a few others to try just look up my Indian category on my RECIPES page. One of my most popular has been my vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala! I also have pav bhaji, my version of pav vada, curried black eyed peas, curried sev tomato shak, and a few more! My Easy Indian Spice Blend i recently posted is a staple in my house and SO easy to use on just about any vegetables as well! Thanks again!
Love this recipe! Definitely toddler approved, which is sometimes challenging! Perfect for a cold snowy day, and the fresh lemon definitely brightens it up!
Thank you!! I have a recipe makeover for this one coming soon!! Thanks for sharing the photograph also!
So glad you are loving you instant pot, I dont have a either but my mom owns a slow cooker. They are really handy 🙂 This recipe looks fabulous by the way, perfect for winter x
That’s awesome…yes the set and forget appliances are super handy. Thank you!
That’s it! I’m getting myself an Instant Pot! I love the idea of it, and seen so many wonderful dishes, like this one, being created using it… You’ve convinced me!
Yes!! Do it! You’ll love it…especially if you’ve never owned a pressure cooker…it’s a must! Will make cooking faster, and much easier to make dishes using dried lentils and beans.
Linda from Veganosity
LOVE black eyed peas!! This looks and sounds delicious, Anjali!
I still haven’t purchased and Instant Pot. I really don’t know what my problem is. LOL!
yes!! I feel like it’s such a forgotten bean sometimes! Well i just recently caved and only because it was gifted to me, but i do own a pressure cooker. so if you don’t own either, then YES!!! Get one!
I love black eyed beans curry. Your version looks delicious. I will make this next time 🙂
Thank you Uma!! It’s one of my favorite beans, and so forgotten sometimes!
Mary Ellen | VNutrition
I just got an instant pot so – going to try this soon! Looks so tasty!
You’ll love it Mary! Let me know…
Nicole | What She Ate
Thank you for writing this post! I haven’t been able to understand all the rage about the Instant Pot and thought it was just a re-branded pressure cooker (which I guess it kind of is.) This really cleared things up for me and helped me understand the differences. This dish looks fantastic! I haven’t had black eyed peas in months, now you’ve got me craving them. Thanks again for the info!
That’s so awesome to hear!! And yes you are totally right…it is basically a re-branded pressure cooker, but i think the reason IP becamse popular was because pressure cooker cooking never picked up and was not popular, especially with the current pressure cookers out there. So with the IP, it took the thinking out and added in automation and people all of a sudden thought it was amazing, when really pressure cookers have been out there for decades 🙂 BUT…being someone who has used a pressure cooker for years, I do like the automatic settings of the IP, and it’s a little easier to use.
i wanted to try this, but i have a slow cooker.
You can definitely make this in a slow cooker! I personally have never used one. Can you saute in a slow cooker? If i recall correctly, I don’t think so, in which case perhaps saute everything in the recipe in a small pan on the stove, then add it in to the slow cooker with the black eyed peas and cook as you would any other bean recipe. After it’s done, follow the recipe again. The other choice is you can use pre-cooked black eyed peas and make this dish stove top.
Love black eyed peas. Curried? Why have I not done this sooner? These turned out perfect. Like so many recipes you share, this will be a comforting addition to my vegan cooking adventures.
THANK you so much!! So glad you loved the recipe…it’s been in my family for years and now I finally modified it for the instant pot, making it even easier. thanks for following and trying out my recipes!
I sounds so good and I really want to make this today. However, I don’t have curry leaves and with a snow storm going on outside, I am not leaving the house. What can be substituted?
Ah! I’m so sorry I didn’t respond to this sooner. You can easily omit the curry leaves. It’ll still taste great! Let me know if you try it.
I made the curry today, using pre – cooked beans. It tastes amazing and my
family loved it. Thank you.
So great to hear!! Thank you glad you loved it!
I want to make this but I have a couple of questions…how can I substitute (or can I substitute) curry powder for the curry leaves and stone ground mustard for the mustard seed?
Curry powder does not have the exact same taste as curry leaves. If you don’t have curry leaves, then you can use some curry powder or omit. I’ve never sub’d ground mustard, but yes you can add 1.5x dry ground mustard to replace it. Although it may taste slightly different.
Do you need to remove the curry leaves or will they break down and meld in? I’ve never used them before. Glad you link them to where you can easily buy them. Thanks.
They won’t quite melt down and break in. I typically leave them in…they’re actually good for you to digest, but sometimes my kids pick them out while they’re eating if the leaves are too big. When I use the curry leaves, I try to tear them up into smaller pieces with my hands and just keep them in. Alternately, you could dry the leaves and crush, in which case they’ll blend right in! you’ll love the flavor curry leaves give in indian dishes!
I thought part of the deal with the IP is that you don’t have to bother with soaking beans in advance. Is there a way to make this without soaking the black eyed peas first? Just adjust the cooking time and/or liquid? What do you recommend?
You can make this easily without soaking the beans. With soaking the beans, you get a slightly different texture. I’m used to pressure cooker cooking, and still soak them, but if i don’t get the time, I’ll add it in without soaking. I’ll make sure the recipe allows for that. As far as adding in time, that may be necessary, maybe another minute. I usually always soak so haven’t checked soak vs nonsoak time.
Fresh curry leaves are hard to come by around me, even in New York City. Sometimes Kalustyan’s has them, sometimes not. I subbed in one bay leaf and lemon zest, and toasted some coriander seeds along with the mustard seeds. I also used four chopped dates instead of the jaggery. I’ve only made black-eyed peas Southern-style with carrots, celery, and ham hocks, so I was happy to find a recipe to add lots of flavor without the meat.
All your subs sound great, especially the dates! Glad you ewre able to make it work without the curry leaves! Thanks for the great review.
We have a bonfire party every year around Halloween and this year there will be a few vegetarians coming So thinking of making this. The only thing I haven’t got a pressure cooker ?
You can easily still make this! The only reason you need a pressure cooker or IP for this recipe is to cook the dried black eyed peas. So instead, you can either soak and pre-cook the black eyed peas stovetop, or a SUPER EASY solution is just to buy canned black eyed peas! Then Just follow directions the same, except the black eyed peas are already cooked so you don’t need to boil them! Hope they enjoy it! This recipe has been a huge hit!
Easy to make but will have to double it next time. Instant Pot is a must! I never soak my beans and have never had a snafu! My husband is vegan di always as ts looking for good recipes.
Yes! I usually always double it so we have leftovers the following day 🙂 Instant pot is awesome for these types of recipes for sure. Try my curried cauliflower lentil soup in the IP next!
Also, the spices and tomato paste make an awesome curry paste! No more store bought curry paste for me!
What a great idea!! I didn’t even think of that for other dishes!
In reality pressure cooker destroys all the nutrients because when it’s cooked really fast the grain Breaks doesn’t cook thus loosing all the important nutritional values. So traditional methods is the only way to get full nutrition. But yes over cooking and reheating definitely causes the loss of nutrients.
Very pleasantly suprised with this dish, I put a lot of beans and peas in it and fresh veg, And the palm sugar Wow first time using it, it transformed the taste altogether, I’m diabetic that’s why I’ve never used it before.
Cheers from Edinburgh, Scotland stay safe everyone
Thank you so much for the great review! So glad you loved this recipe…and I love Edinburgh, visited scotland last year! Can’t wait to go back!
Do you think I could add a potato to the recipe to cook with the beans and all the spices? I’m thinking it would taste good but wanted to see what you thought.
Absolutely! I’ve never done it but it should be just fine. Only thing I’m not 100% sure about is how in tact the potatoes will be or if they are overcooked…but overall should be fine!
Awesome recipe. I used instant pot. I frozen tomato deskinned and diced instead of the paste. 2 teaspoon jaggery. Love it! Great discovery. Thankyou Anjali
Awesome! It’s one of our go-tos. And if you want to add some greens, next time throw in a bunch of chopped spinach!
Came out perfect, try is with coconut rice…and roasted meat/fish
Awesome glad you enjoyed it!
I made this for lunch yesterday and it was perfect. The flavours were well-balanced and it was a breeze to cook in my instant pot. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!
Awesome! So glad you loved it…it’s one of our favorites as well! You can even throw in some fresh chopped spinach as well!
This a great protein packed recipe. Thanks so much for posting the instant pot recipe! I’m making this tonight for dinner!!!!
Yes!! We love it and hope you do too!
I love adding spinach to it. It completes the recipe. A perfectly balanced meal! Thanks again for the wonderful recipes you post!
Yes! Spinach really completes it because it’s proteins and greens! Thank you so much for your kind words…really appreciate it. I have sooo many recipes ready to post so hopefully will get updates soon!
I made this for New Year’s Day, and it was so good, I’m making it again today! Absolutely delicious. The only thing I did differently was that I used kale from my garden instead of spinach. All seasonings, etc. exactly as recipe, and they are perfect.
So great to hear…what a perfect black eyed peas recipe to start off the year! And yes…if you don’t have spinach, honestly any assortment of veggies would work – any other greens, shredded carrots/zucchini, etc. Fresh kale from your garden sounds awesome!
This is delicious. My family of five all love it! Yum, yum, yum! We skip the spinach and it’s still perfect.
Great to hear! Love it when it’s a meal for the entire family!
This is delicious. I made it for dinner today for New Year’s. I will definitely make this again.
Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it! And happy new year!