Black-eyed beans curry with eggplant & spinach

Legumes in general are wonderfully healthy, as they’re high in plant protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates.

They’re delicious too, but can take some time to cook. That’s why I have a soft spot for black-eyed beans — they cook really quickly in comparison to most beans.

This dish is similar to what my mum used to for cook me, and one that I absolutely love. I hope you enjoy it too.


Serves ~3–4 | Cooking time 45 minutes + soaking time | Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan/Dairy-free option

  • ¾ cup black eyed beans, soaked overnight {or 6 hours}, rinsed & drained
  • 2 tbsp ghee {clarified butter}, or coconut oil for a vegan/dairy-free option
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4–6 cloves garlic finely diced or minced
  • 1 small knob ginger {20 g/ lb}, finely grated or minced
  • 1tsp chilli flakes, or to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 small-medium {450g/ lb} aubergine {eggplant}, diced
  • 4 large handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

In a heavy-based pot, heat the ghee/oil over medium heat.

Add the mustard seeds.

Once the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onion and cumin seeds, and sauté.

When the onions soften a little, add the garlic and ginger, and turn the heat to low.

Sauté for another couple of minutes before adding the turmeric and chilli.

Continue to sauté, toasting the spices in the oil, and until the onions become lightly browned.

Add the black-eyed beans and diced aubergine, stirring thoroughly to coat with the yummy spices.

Sauté for a couple of minutes, then pour in 1 cup freshly boiled water, and add a teaspoon of salt.

Bring to a boil, before turning down the heat to a very gentle simmer. If you have a heat diffuser {dissipater}, place it under the pot.

Place the lid on the pot, but leave it partially off to let some steam escape

Let the curry simmer for 20–25 minutes {you will still need to check on it periodically and stir occasionally}, or until the beans have cooked through and the aubergine soft and creamy. Most of the water will be absorbed by the beans.

Next, mix in the spinach leaves, stirring until they wilt.

Taste and add more seasoning to your liking.

Turn off the hob, and store in the lemon juice before serving.

To make the meal nutritionally complete, serve with cooked brown rice or quinoa. Add some extra veggies with a green salad or steamed greens. For added deliciousness and satisfaction, serve and with a dollop of natural yoghurt {or raita}, sauerkraut/kim chi, or any condiment of choice that’s a little tart and salty.

Makes great leftovers. Will keep in fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container, or you can freeze it.

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