Cowpeas Curry or Chavli Usal

ashuskitchen: Cowpeas Curry or Chavli Usal
ashuskitchen: Cowpeas Curry or Chavli Usal

We all know the importance of food in our lives. It is a medium that also helps us to connect with one another. One easily gets connected with like minded foodies through the food that they love, and now with the help of social media through the pictures that  one shares. For me the food journey has seen bringing the people together, and one can see the influence of Indian food, its spices and curries spread to so many countries across the globe. It gives great happiness and a fascinating feeling to see the love of Indian cuisine shared by so many non-Indians.

I have always enjoyed this bond that is created by the food I cook. Travelling to places makes us aware of the different landscapes, but also brings us closer to the community or people in that place. This incident happened with me during a sightseeing visit to Cologne, Germany, when I was on a short visit to Frankfurt couple years back. We were visiting the Chocolate Museum in Cologne and during lunch time were seated and had just opened the home packed lunch, an elderly lady stopped by, started talking with us and so we offered and shared our food with her. She was telling us how she loved the Indian food and was so happy to eat with us, and it was this same Cowpea curry that we were eating that noon. Every time I cook this legume, I am fondly reminded of that total stranger who shared the food with us that day. It was the food that had connected us at that moment, and though I am not aware where she must be at this moment but I always get this warmth thinking about that afternoon.

Most Indian families makes use of Lentils and Legumes in their daily food. Most of the legumes are sprouted before use to make them more nutritious, and also for fast cooking and better absorption. The sprouts increase the nutritive value of the legumes. Legumes are a source of good dietary fiber in our diet and also are a good vegetarian protein source. The legumes cooked in the form of usal or curry are eaten with pav, parathas or roti and can be eaten as a breakfast food or main meal and it as well adds as a curry component of the regular vegetarian meal served in hotels or canteens etc.

The cowpeas are usually preferred as a weekend breakfast dish in my house. It is easy and fast to cook, and does not matter even if one forgets to soak them the previous night.  All the ingredients required are always present in the house, and hence one does not need any planning to make this dish.



Cowpeas: 250 gm

Onion: 2 Medium

Tomatoes: 1 Big

Ginger Garlic paste: 1 Tbsp

Oil: 2 Tbsp

Chilli Powder: 1 Tbsp

Turmeric: 1Tsp

Coriander Cumin Powder: 1 Tbsp

Salt: To Taste

Garam Masala Powder: 1 Tsp

Green Coriander: 2 Tbsp finely chopped

Water: 1 Glass


Boil the Cowpeas/Lobia/Chavli in a pressure cooker  upto 2-3 whistle.

Finely chop the onions and tomatoes. Make the ginger garlic paste using 3-4 garlic cloves and small piece of ginger. Finely chop the green coriander that would be used for garnishing after the dish is prepared.

Heat a Kadai or pot and add the oil.  Then add the finely chopped onions and sauté till they are pinkish. Then add the ginger garlic paste, and after it is cooked for 1-2 minutes add the tomatoes and cook well till all are completely mashed. Then add all the spices and chili powder and salt and stir, and as soon as we see oil separate from the masala in the pan then add the boiled cowpeas.

Mix everything, add some water and let it cook on slow flame. Once it is boiled and all the masala is mixed evenly and a curry is formed, switch off the flame. Adjust adding the water quantity according to the thickness of the curry required.

Then lastly add the garam masala and finely chopped green coriander and keep it covered for sometime.

 ashu's Chavli Usal/Cowpeas Curry
ashu’s Chavli Usal/Cowpeas Curry

TIP: Serve this along with Roti, Paratha, Bread or Pav, or one could also eat this with steaming white rice at lunch time.

This was one more of my favorite foods that I loved sharing with you all. Hope you would try it out someday. Till then enjoy the goodness of eating nutritious, yummy homemade food :). Have a wonderful day friends.



3 thoughts on “Cowpeas Curry or Chavli Usal

  1. Thanks Liz, I read you ate Chickpeas for lunch, read your post :), you sure do make my favorite food. I see some similar tastes we share. Glad to connect.
    Currently trying hard to keep myself away from cakes and hence will try the orange syrup when I next make the cake.


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