Soak black-eyed peas for at least one hour. They will double in size. Drain water and rinse 2 to 3 times until the water runs clear. Set aside until needed.
Heat oil or ghee in a medium saucepan over medium heat and sauté onion, garlic, chilis, and ginger until soft, about 6 minutes.
Add coriander, cumin, turmeric, and red chili powder (or cayenne pepper), and sauté for about 2 minutes, and then add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt.
Simmer for approximately 3 minutes to incorporate the fat and spices well into the tomatoes. Add the soaked black-eyed peas and another pinch of salt, along with 5 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Cover partially with lid, and cook for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, until your peas are soft, and the sauce is nice and thick. Stir occasionally, and add extra water if necessary so it doesn’t dry out.
* If you cook this in a pressure cooker, you will need only 8 minutes of cooking under high pressure to get very soft black-eyed peas. For more details, see my post How to Cook Beans 4 Ways, and also the best stovetop pressure cookers if you would like to see about buying one, (which I highly recommend!)
Once the beans are soft, turn off the heat and fold in the yogurt, remaining salt, and half the cilantro.
Taste, and adjust for salt. You could add more red chili now if you want more heat, since the yogurt tones down the taste significantly. Garnish with extra minced cilantro.
If you do not have ghee, substitute with a mixture of half butter and half vegetable oil. Ghee is a form of clarified butter with a nutty, buttery taste, that is commonly used in Indian cooking. It is generally safe for people with lactose intolerance, it has a high smoke point of 485 degrees Fahrenheit, and is shelf stable at room temperature. Ghee is widely available outside India. To learn more about ghee and where to buy it, see Quality Ghee & Ghee Buying Tips.
MAKE THIS VEGAN
Substitute ghee with coconut oil or vegetable oil.Substitute yogurt with non-dairy yogurt.