The Kala Vatana Rassa (Black Peas Curry) or Kala Vatana Sambar is offered as prasad or naivedya to Lord Ganesha during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
This recipe of Kala Vatana Sambar is my mom’s recipe. Its an authentic Malvani recipe. My mom makes the kala vatana sambar pretty often. Its one of my favorite recipe and has now even become my husband’s favorite legume dish…….. yes…. after rajma chawal, chole bhature, dal makhani, punjabi lobia…… this is his next favorite dish. Quite a drastic taste change for a punjabi munda to like coconut flavored coastal dishes. I am pleasantly surprised…. he liked the modaks too…… and he had it for the first time.
Back at mom’s place, we have the kala vatana sambar with vade. This vade is again a malvani dish. The flours that are used to make the vade/vada is a blend of rice flour, chana dal flour, urad dal flour, jowar flour, and powdered coriander seeds, fennel seeds, methi seeds. In Mumbai and Pune, I used to easily get the vade flour. It can be made at home too. My mom used to give the vade ingredients to be grounded in the mill. The vade flour that is made at home is much better than the ready made ones.
Whilst the kala vatana sambar tastes best with malvani vade/vada……. but it also tastes good with puris and even plain rice. As a closest substitute with the vada… you can make rice flour vadas.
By the way, these vade/vada are not your south indian vada. They are like puris and are also fried like puris………. except for the dough and the preparation. If you have never tasted the vade, you should try it once. You will forget the puris.. They are so much better than puris.
And…. by the way this sambar is also not your south indian sambar. It comes closer to the maharashtrian usal……. but its not even that. It has an awesome taste, aroma and flavor and you are absolutely going to love it.
For this recipe, you will need kala vatana. Now what is kala vatana? Kala Vatana is Black Peas. Got it?????
Its not entirely black in color but brownish black. Please don’t confuse it with black eyed peas or black beans. See the pic below.
The recipe uses Malvani Masala. If you do not have malvani masala……… what will you do? Use garam masala powder ( I am assuming that your garam masala has coriander, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms (both big and small), cinnamon, nutmeg, peppercorns, bay leaves) and add fennel seeds, mace, dagad phool, star anise, nag keshar (optional), poppy seeds, red chillies, trifal (optional) while frying the masala ingredients. My suggestion is…. thats its better to have malvani masala ready. Also, its better to have malvani masala made at home than buying ready made.
For all of you who do not have malvani masala, you could still make this delicious sambar at home. You only need to fry the whole spices along with the other masala ingredients. But do remember to add garam masala powder. Please see the Note at the bottom of the post.
I was going to post the recipe for the malvani masala, but unfortunately one day my computer crashes and I loose all the images of about 40-45 recipes that I was going to post. I had start to finish pictures of making the malvani masala… step by step……… all is lost now. So unfortunately I cannot post the recipe now. Later when this batch of the masala gets over and I make another batch, I will post the recipe for malvani masala.
So we start making the recipe for the delicious Kala Vatana Sambar.
Preparation Time: 9-10 hrs for soaking the peas + 15 minutes for the rest of the recipe
Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes
- 1½ cup black peas
- 1 large onion ( half sliced for the masala paste and half chopped for the sambar)
- 1 tomato (optional)
- 2 cups grated coconut or 2 cups dessicated coconut
- 2 dry red chillies ( The malvani masala I have does not have red chillies in it, hence I added these)
- 1 inch ginger
- 5-6 garlic flakes
- 1½ to 2 tbsp malvani masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
- 1 tsp coriander powder (optional)
- a few coriander leaves for garnishing
- 2 tbsp oil + 1 tsp oil for frying the masala
- Start the previous night before. Pick and clean the black peas. Wash the peas in running water for 3-4 times. Soak the peas in water for a nice 8-10 hours. You could also use sprouted black peas.
- The next day, discard the water from the soaked peas.
- And boil them with salt plus 3 cups water in a pressure cooker for 10-12 mins till they are completely cooked. Drain the cooked peas in a strainer and keep the broth.
- Now on a griddle or tava heat up 1 tsp oil. Add half of the onion slices and fry till they become a light brown.
- Fry the onions till light brown.
- Add the chopped garlic and ginger and fry for a minute.
- Add the grated fresh or dessicated coconut and fry for a minute.
- Add red chillies.
- Fry the entire masala till it becomes golden. Fry on a low flame and keep on stirring in between so that the masala does not stick to the tava.
- Let the masala cool. In a grinder get the fried masala ingredients,
- Add 2-3 tbsp of the boiled black peas to it.
- And grind with 1/2 cup of water. Add more water if required. Grind to a smooth paste.
- In another deep bottomed pan, now heat 2 tbsp oil. Fry the chopped onions till transparent.
- Add turmeric powder and malvani masala.
- Add the masala paste. Now you can add the tomatoes also. You don’t have to fry the masala paste for a long time as we have already done that before…….. when we fried the masala ingredients. Mix everything well and fry the entire masala for 2 minutes on a low flame. The masala splutters so keep on stirring it.
- Add the broth plus 2 or 2½ cups of water (depending on the consistency you want) with the boiled peas.
- Bring to a rolling boil the first time and then lower the flame and simmer for 15-17 minutes. Take care that the sambar does not spill while boiling. Make it as per your choice of consistency. If you like more gravy…. add some more water. Add salt and check the seasoning. Keep in mind that we had already added salt to the broth that we have used in the gravy. When done add the chopped coriander leaves. The black peas cannot be seen in the pic as they are all settled down in the gravy.
- Serve hot with malvani vada, rice puris or plain wheat puris. I served it with puris made from Pillsbury 7 grains flour mix.
- You could also serve it with plain boiled rice or jeera rice.
Note: If you do not have malvani masala, fry the ingredients mentioned below once you are done frying the garlic and ginger. But remember to add your garam masala powder. Add 1 tsp of garam masala powder. You could add the garam masala powder directly when simmering the sambar.
Just before you add the coconut, you need to fry the following spices:
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 pinch of mace
- 1-2 dagad phool
- 1-2 star anise
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 nag keshar (optional)
- 2-3 trifal (optional)