Curried Black-eyed Peas and Eggs on Toast

Curried Black-Eyed Peas & Eggs on Toast

The tradition of eating beans or a curry on bread is one that the British brought to India — and one that my family adopted with great fanfare. When fresh roti was unavailable, we threw dal, beans, even vegetable or meat curries on bread that was sometimes toasted, other times kept soft to absorb the sauce. The dish makes for a particularly good breakfast. Try curried black-eyed peas with eggs and toast on New Year’s Day. This vegetarian-friendly recipe skips the bacon and adds cumin seeds to pop some flavor into the beans.

Make the beans a day or two ahead — curries are best when the flavors have had a chance to mellow and marry. In place of black-eyed peas, use fresh purple hull peas. Hull peas are very similar in taste, and they cook faster but are even more delicious. Pick up a dozen eggs while you’re at the market, too — using farm-fresh variety makes a big difference.

Share this recipe
Cook Time

90 Minutes



Step 1
Soak the beans for 3 to 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain and boil them with roughly double the amount of water in a covered stockpot until soft and tender. While boiling, if any scum or brownish foam rises to the top, discard with a slotted spoon. The cooking should take 45 minutes to an hour, maybe more if the beans are old. There should be some liquid left but no more than approximately 2 cups. Once cooked, try to not discard any of the water — this is where most of the nutrition lies.
Step 2
In a frying pan, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil or ghee just shy of smoking and pop the cumin seeds. Within a few seconds, add the minced onions and garlic. Cook at medium to high heat, stirring frequently until the onions have a caramel color, 15 to 20 minutes. If the pan becomes too hot during this process, simply add a tablespoon of water or two; this will also pull up the caramelized pieces from the pan.
Step 3
Add the ginger, chile powder, turmeric, and tomatoes. Cook this mixture on low heat for 5 to 8 minutes, then add to the black-eyed peas. Bring the combined mixture to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the stockpot and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. The masala should incorporate with the peas. If there is too much liquid, uncover the pot and reduce until the liquid thickens. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or ghee and cardamom to finish the peas.
Step 4
To boil the eggs, place them in a stockpot with enough water to cover them. Turn the heat on and as soon as the water is hot, let it boil vigorously for a minute then turn the heat off. Let the eggs sit in the water for another 45 minutes to an hour. Remove the eggs and peel them. They should feel soft on the inside.
Step 5
When ready to eat, toast the bread and spread warm beans on top. Slice the eggs in half and place one on each piece of toast and repeat with the remaining toast. Season the eggs with a sprinkle of salt and chile powder or black pepper. Drizzle honey on each piece of toast, sprinkle the mint sprigs over, and serve immediately.
1 cup dried black-eyed peas
6 tablespoons olive oil or ghee, divided
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup minced onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated unpeeled ginger
1 teaspoon chile powder (or black pepper)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes (or 2 cups diced fresh)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 slices of a favorite bread such as sourdough, brioche, or roti
4 large eggs
Salt, chile powder, and freshly ground black pepper to season eggs
1 tablespoon honey
A few mint springs

Notes & Variations

  • If using canned black-eyed peas, use two cans, drain them and wash the canning liquid off completely. After combining with the ginger mixture, add enough liquid to give it a thick consistency.
  • Instead of water, use chicken stock to boil the peas.
  • When adding cumin seeds to the olive oil or ghee, be sure to not burn them. If this happens, discard them and start over. Burned cumin will turn the curry bitter.
  • Add diced chicken, sausage, turkey, or bacon to the potatoes and onions during cooking for extra flavor.


Stock Your Pantry

Black Eyed Peas!

Continue to get your fix with the recipes below.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.