vellapayar curry
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5 from 1 vote

vellapayar curry

Vellapayar curry is a spicy and tasty curry made with black eyed beans or lobia. Black eyed beans are also called as 'vellapayar' in malayalam language.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: kerala, south indian
Author: Dassana Amit


For cooking vellapayar

  • 1 cup Vellapayar (black eyed beans or lobia or rongi or chawli)
  • 2.5 cups Water For pressure cooking

For making vellapayar curry

  • 3 tablespoons Coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 Pieces each of 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 2 Green cardamoms
  • 4 Cloves (lavang)
  • ¼ teaspoon Black pepper - slightly crushed
  • 1 Dry red chili
  • cup Sliced pearl onions Or shallots or onions
  • 8 to 10 Curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped coconut
  • ½ cup Chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Green chilies - slit
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon Red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Garam masala powder, optional
  • 1.5 cups Water Or add as required
  • Salt As required
  • 1 teaspoon Coconut oil To be added later
  • 3 to 4 Curry leaves To be added later


cooking vellapayar (black eyed beans)

  • Rinse 1 cup vellapayar (black eyed beans) in water for a couple of times. Then add the rinsed beans in a 2 litre pressure cooker.
  • Add 2.5 cups water.
  • Pressure cook for 10 to 12 whistles. Timing will vary on the quality of vellapayar.
  • When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and check if the beans are cooked well. The beans have to be completely cooked but not mushy or pasty. If they are under cooked, then add some more water and pressure cook for a few more whistles.
  • When the vellapayar are getting cooked, you can prep the other ingredients. Chop pearl onions (or shallots or onions), tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies.

making vellapayar curry

  • Heat 3 tablespoons coconut oil in a pan.
  • Keep flame to a low and add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  • When the mustard seeds crackle, then add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds. Let cumin seeds splutter.
  • Now add 2 pieces each of 1 inch cinnamon, 2 green cardamoms, 4 cloves and 1 dry red chili. Fry for 1 to 2 seconds till the spices become aromatic. The frying of the spices should be done on a low flame.
  • Add ⅓ cup sliced pearl onions or shallots or onions. Give a stir.
  • Add 8 to 10 curry leaves, 1 teaspoon chopped ginger and 1 teaspoon chopped garlic.
  • Also add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coconut and mix well.
  • Then add ¼ teaspoon black pepper, slightly crushed.
  • Mix and sauté till the onions become translucent.
  • Now add ½ cup chopped tomatoes and 2 green chilies (slit). mix well.
  • Then add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon red chili powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder and ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder (optional).
  • Mix again and begin to sauté tomatoes on a low to medium flame till the tomatoes soften. When sautéing the tomatoes, you could add a few tablespoons of water if the tomato mixture dries up or starts sticking to the pan.
  • Now add 1.5 cups water or add as required.
  • Add the cooked vellapayar or black eyed peas.
  • Season with salt as per taste. mix again.
  • On a low to medium-low flame simmer vellapayar curry for 12 to 15 minutes till the gravy thickens. With a spoon mash some vellapayar (lobia) to thicken the gravy.
  • Once the vellapayar curry is done, then switch off flame and add 3 to 4 curry leaves. Also drizzle 1 teaspoon coconut oil. Stir and cover the pan. Let the flavors infuse for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Serve kerala vellapayar masala curry with steamed rice, puttu or appam or idiayappam. You can garnish kerala lobia curry with coriander leaves if you want.


Few tips:
  • Instead of adding the coconut slices while sautéing, you could also fry them separately in oil till they become golden and crisp and garnish the dish with these fried coconut slices.
  • If cooking beans in a pot - rinse and soak beans in enough water for 4 to 5 hours or overnight. Then boil black eyed beans with 3 to 4 cups of water with 1 tsp of salt till they are softened and well cooked.
  • To reduce spiciness, add less black pepper and red chili powder.