Lockdown is forcing me to really have a good look through my storecupboard and see what needs eating up. It’s been very therapeutic actually finding different ways to eat our lentils, beans and pulses. I have almost all the basic Indian ones of course but the other day I found a pack of Hodmedod’s Carlin Peas. It must be super old because I bought them at Aldeburgh Food Festival and that was a couple of years ago now!
From the Great British Beans Project to the Hodmedod’s of todayThis post isn’t sponsored or an ad. I’d just really like to give these guys a shout out. First off there was the Great British Beans trial project to stimulate and assess demand for indigenous pulses.
It was successful and in 2012 Hodmedod’s was founded. They sell all sorts of beans, pulses, grains, flours – even British quinoa. I’m rather excited that they have Gujarati Vaal Dhal – a dish I served at my wedding.
Carlin Pea CurryAnyway. Back to the Carlin peas I found. Mine were the Black Badger variety but you can use the Red Fox ones in the same way.
Let any whole dried pea you need to soak these overnight before you start this recipe. Hodmedod’s however advise that you can quick-soak them by putting them in boiling water, then taking them off the heat and leaving for one hour. I haven’t tried this method so I’ll leave it with you to decide. Then you need to boil them for about an hour til soft. You should be able to squish them between your thumb and forefinger easily
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- Small stick of cinnamon (about one inch long)
- Couple of bay leaves
- 1 star anise
- 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes or chopped tomatoes – puréed
- 1-2 teabags – any strong black tea. Eg Twinings English Breakfast
- Half a lemon
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 heaped tsp ground cumin
- 2 heaped tsp ground coriander
- 1-2 heaped tsp red chilli powder to your taste
- 2 x 400g tins of cooked Carlin Peas or about 700g dried Carlin Peas which have been soaked overnight and boiled for about an hour til soft.
- Handful fresh coriander for garnish
To make it
- Heat the veg oil in a large saucepan or wok that has a lid over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and star anise. Be careful because the seeds will fizzle and pop. So use a few to test it before adding the rest if you’re not sure.
- Give the spices a little stir and then add in the puréed tomatoes and break in the tea from the teabags. I know it’s odd but go with me on this one. It adds a really nice depth to the sauce.
- Add the salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chilli powder and stir in evenly.
- Bring to a simmer and then lower the heat right down. Then pop the lid on and let it bubble away gently for 15 minutes.
- Add the boiled Carlin peas, half a cup of water and the lemon, stir and then pop the lid back on and leave to simmer for another 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the level of liquid. You need a bit of sauce so if more water is needed, then add a little at a time.
- Turn the heat off, squeeze the lemon that has been simmering with the beans. You’ll find so much more juice comes out of it and the lemony tang lingers more than if you’d just added juice.
- Remove the lemon. Give it a final stir and sprinkle over the fresh coriander.
Serve with crusty bread or naan to mop up the sauce.