Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Ginger and Red Onion
This is one of those rare Indian salads that makes a meal in itself. I usually bring a large bowl as my contribution to summer potlucks. If you use canned peas, you can put this salad together in literally a few minutes.
1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas or two 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained
1 cup finely chopped ripe tomatoes (about 2 medium tomatoes)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (about 1 small onion)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons lime juice, or more to taste
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (about 2-inch piece)
1 small green serrano chile, minced (seed it first if you prefer)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, finely ground
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
If using dried black-eyed peas, soak them for 6 to 8 hours or overnight, refrigerated, with water to cover.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drain the soaked peas and add them to the pot. Cook until they are tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. Drain and remove to a medium bowl. Cool.
If using canned beans, skip the above steps and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Add the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, ginger, chile, cumin, cayenne, and salt to taste (remember canned beans already have salt in them) to the cooked, cooled beans and toss well. You can increase the amount of lime juice in the recipe if you like.
Make the tadka: Heat the oil in a small skillet or butter warmer over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the mustard seeds, covering the pan with a lid or spatter screen. After all the mustard seeds have finished popping, pour the tadka over the beans and toss well.
Serve cold or at room temperature.
Serves 4 to 6