Rinse the black eyed beans for a few times in water. Soak the beans for 30 minutes in enough water. Later drain and rinse the beans again with water. Drain very well and set aside.
If you are short of time, skip the soaking and move to the sautéing step. Keep in mind that you will need to cook the black eyed beans for some more time if they have not been soaked.
Making lobia recipe
In a 3 litre pressure cooker or pressure pan, heat oil.
Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
Then add the chopped onions.
Stir and saute till the onions become translucent. Stir often while sautéing onions so that they cook evenly.
Add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies. Sauté for some seconds or until the raw aroma of the ginger and garlic goes away.
Then add the chopped tomatoes and mix well.
Next add the all the dry ground spices - turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
Stir and sauté the masala on a low heat, till the tomatoes become soft and the entire tomato-onion mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan or cooker and you see the oil leaving from the sides. Do not rush this step.
Now add the lobia or black eyed beans. Combine and mix well.
Add 3 cups water. Add salt according to taste and stir.
Pressure cook for 9 to 10 minutes or 8 to 9 whistles on medium heat or until the beans have softened well. I cooked the beans for 8 to 9 whistles as I had soaked them for only half an hour.
If you have soaked it overnight or for 2 to 3 hours, it will take less time to cook them. The lobia should be soft enough and when pressed with your fingers, it should get mashed easily. Check the beans once they are cooked through.
Let the pressure fall naturally in the cooker and then only open the lid.
Once the lobia beans are cooked, simmer the gravy without the lid so that it gets thickened.
You can also mash a few cooked beans to thicken the lobia masala gravy.
The consistency of the lobia curry is neither thin nor thick.
Lastly add chopped coriander leaves and give a final stir. You could also garnish lobia masala with chopped coriander leaves while serving.
Serve lobia curry with roti, paratha, naan, puri, steamed rice or jeera rice.
It is best to eat this black eyed beans curry as soon as it is made. I would not recommend to store the curry in the fridge or freeze it as the taste and flavors of the beans change completely and do not taste that good after a day.
Black Eyed Beans: Whenever you make any recipe with dried beans, ensure that they are fresh and in their shelf period. Older beans take more time to cook. Black eyed beans come in a few sizes. To get the best taste and flavor, I recommend to use the beans which have a medium to large size. Avoid the beans which are tiny and small.
Canned Beans: In a pinch, easily swap 2 to 3 cups of canned beans with dried beans. Drain all the liquid from the cans and rinse the beans before adding to the sautéed onion-tomato masala. Add water as needed to make a medium consistency gravy and simmer for some minutes.
Soaking: If you decide to soak the beans for a few hours or overnight, then reduce the cooking time.
Spicing: This lobia recipe is not spicy. If you like spicy food, increase the amount of red chilli powder and green chilies.
Consistency: Make a slightly thick or medium consistency curry if eating with roti or bread. When serving with steamed rice, make the curry with medium consistency or slightly thin, but do not add too much of water as this will dilute the flavors.
Cumin: Instead of cumin seeds, you could also use cumin powder.