January 3, 2011

Black-eyed peas (Bobbarlu) Kootu

Eat poor that day, eat rich the rest of the year.
Rice for riches and peas for peace.
~ a Southern saying on eating a dish of Hoppin' John on New Year's Day.

I'll be honest with you guys. I heard, for the first time only about a week ago - about the Hoppin' John & the tradition of serving black-eyed peas for New Year...and the legend of the Hoppin' John dish goes something like this -

"It was the custom for children to gather in the dining room as the dish was brought forth and h op around the table before sitting down to eat.  A man named John came "a-hoppin" when his wife took the dish from the stove. An obscure South Carolina custom was inviting a guest to eat by saying, "Hop in, John". The dish goes back at least as far as 1841, when, according to tradition, it was hawked in the streets of Charleston, South Carolina by a crippled black man who was know as Hoppin' John."

Picking up the fact that the black-eyed-peas especially when served on New Year bring good luck, I made a very delightful black eyed peas kootu.

Well, following the tradition, I made sure this year we had black eyed peas & rice on the table. I hope this would bring us truck loads of luck and good health. :-)

Kootu/Koottu is typically a South-Indian delicacy. Usually made with shredded coconut, lentils and/or vegetables with an array of aromatic spices, it is a delight to eat it for lunch or dinner. This dish makes use of a kootu podi (Step 2) which is very versatile and can be used with other vegetable curries like potato, eggplant etc. I saw this dish made on a TV show featuring some kannadiga recipes. Served with rice, rotis or even dosas, it tastes delicious and very nutritious too.

Black-eyed peas (Bobbarlu) Kootu


Step 1: Grind to paste: (1 onion, chopped + 3-4 red chillies + 1 cup shredded coconut).

Step 2: Dry roast and Grind to a powder - ( 1 tbsp poppy seeds + 1 tsp fenugreek seeds + 1 tbsp urad dal + 1 tbsp chana dal + 1 tbsp sesame seeds + 1 tbsp coriander seeds + 2 tbsp peanuts)

Step 3: Boil 1 cup of black-eyed peas with 3-4 cups of water until tender. If using canned beans, drain & rinse.

Step 4: In a small bowl, take 4-5 tablespoons of kootu podi prepared in Step 2 with 1/2 cup of tamarind water. Make sure there are no lumps. Keep aside.

Step 5: Heat 1 tsp of oil in a wide skillet and add in 1 tsp of mustard seeds, until they start to crackle. Stir in 1 tsp of ginger-garlic paste and onion-coconut paste that we prepared in Step 1. Cover and cook for 2-3 mins on medium heat. Then add the (kootu podi + tamarind water) mixture. Mix the contents well. Add little water if desired. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Step 6: Season with salt, turmeric and finally add the boiled black-eyed peas. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occassionally. Add 1/2 tsp of ghee and Serve hot with roti or rice.

[Edited February 2nd 2011] - My entry won a cookbook and a case of six bags of the winner's choice of Hurst Bean products in the random draw for this event. Looks like my Hoppin'n John turned out to be truly lucky. Thanks Simona and Susan

I am sending this off as an entry to MLLA 31, this month guest hosted by Simona & originally started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.

Note: This month the theme for Healing Foods event is our beloved "Eggplant" and is being graciously guest hosted by Kavita. Click here for more participation details.

until next time,


  1. wow,
    I just go crazy for this.
    My favorite.
    lovely clicks and different recipe than mine.

  2. Such a beautiful koottu to bring all the luck for 2011..Happy New year,Siri !!

  3. Delicious way to start the 2011....Yumm!!

  4. I like the detail presentation with all the spice mix to go in it. My MIL makes this kootu often, now its my turn to do the same and impress her :)

  5. I like this fusion between the tradition of Hoppin' John and kootu: very nice! Thanks for contributing to MLLA.

  6. Thank you everybody for your sweet comments :-)


  7. Love this kootu..I have never tried adding onions though...Clicks are wonderful..


  8. Superb kootu....Served along with chapati. And it was hit and appericatable by my family .


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