Black-eyed pea & bamboo shoot tarkari

Preparation info

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  • Serves


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

This Nepalese recipe is prepared with soaked black-eyed peas and fermented bamboo shoots curried in spices. It makes a great side dish, or just a simple meal with rice or roti.

Preparation 30 minutes + overnight soaking
Cooking 40 minutes


  • 250 g (9 oz/1⅓ cups) black-eyed peas
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) vegetable oil or rice bran oil
  • 150 g ( oz/1 cup) Mesu pickle or fermented bamboo shoots, drained
  • 3 dried red chillies, broken in half
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Chaat masala
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh young ginger
  • 2 cm (¾ inch) knob of fresh turmeric, peeled and grated, or ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon Mustard paste, or use a ready-made one from a jar
  • 350 g (12 oz) sebago or other waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 3 cm (1¼ inch) cubes
  • 400 g (14 oz) diced tinned or fresh roma (plum) tomatoes
  • 435 ml (15¼ fl oz/ cups) coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander (cilantro)


Soak the black-eyed peas in a bowl of water overnight.

In a frying pan, heat half the oil over medium heat. Fry the bamboo shoots for about 2–3 minutes, or until light brown, then set aside on a plate.

Heat the remaining oil in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Fry the dried chillies for 2–3 minutes, stirring often, until they turn dark.

Add the onion and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn the heat down to low, then stir in the spices and mustard paste. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for 1 minute, stirring often.

Add the potato and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring well to coat the potato in all the spices, and sprinkle with water if the mixture starts to burn.

Drain the beans and add them to the pan with the sautéed bamboo shoots, tomatoes and coconut water. Stir well, bring to the boil, then leave to simmer over low heat for 15–20 minutes, or until the potato is fork-tender, and the gravy has reached the desired consistency.

Garnish with the coriander and serve.