Chora ma Gos | Black-eyed Peas and Meat Stew
Black-eyed peas (chora-cowpeas) are an ancient pulse from
Africa. They are packed with fibre, protein, potassium, and iron. Although it
originated in Europe, it is customary in the United States to consider cooking
a large pot of black-eyed peas on New Year's Day to bring good fortune to one's
home and family; I hear that my Parsi friends in the US have picked up this
tradition and prepare a large pot of chora on New Year's Day every
year!! All dried edible seeds have been a staple of Parsi cuisine over the past
centuries, but, as a community, we are partial toward lentils, which
we prepare much more frequently.
medium onions, finely chopped and fried
tsp crushed garlic
tsp crushed ginger
1/2 tsp chilli powder
tsp cumin powder
tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp dhansak masala -see tips
green chillies -finely chopped
cup fresh tomato puree
raw unripe mangoes, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp salt
kg / 2.2 lb meat, - bone- in, cut into pieces
g/ 1.1 lb black-eyed peas
Optionally the juice of a lemon
Heat the oil and fry the onions till golden brown. Add the garlic,
ginger, all the masala, the meat, and the black-eyed peas. Mix well; add
the tomato puree and the unripe mangoes. Mix well, adding 2 cups of water.
Bring it to a boil and cover the pot. Lower the heat and cook until the meat is
tender and the beans are done. This will take an hour and fifteen minutes. Keep
evaporating the liquid over a high flame until your preferred consistency is
achieved. While the stew should not have any water floating in it, the beans
should remain moist and not get overly dry—chorra jayvu.
If not using unripe mangoes, add the juice of a lemon at this
point and serve with kachumbar, lemon, and crusty bread or rotli.
Wash the black-eyed peas thoroughly before cooking.
You do not need to soak them. It will cook in the same amount of
time as the meat. While lamb, mutton or goat is traditional, some prefer to use
pork meat. Bone-in meat is best for the flavours.
Dhansak no masalo
is an ashen coloured blend of up to 25
spices. It can be prepared at home but is available in most Indian
supermarkets. It is used in most lentil dishes and sometimes added to other
dishes for additional flavour.
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022.
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.
For more Parsi recipes click
Niloufer's Kitchen: Quick and Easy
Photo courtesy Zavera J Kanga