Chora Nu Shaak/ Red Cowpea Curry

May 31, 2012mayurisjikoni
Blog post

creamy and yummy

Cowpeas or chora/choli as its called in gujarati are grown in Asia, Africa and US. The variety of cowpeas are many. Right from the black eyed cowpea to the brown kidney shaped variety. For this recipe I have used the brown or deep red  variety which is commonly grown in Kenya. I have used whole cowpeas and not the split one or dal. This curry or dal goes well with rotis, flaky parathas or with rice. I even cook them dry to have with kadhi and rice. Check out my recipe on kadhi. Cowpeas are a rich source of protein like most legumes, and  in Vitamin B and A. Rich in dietary fibres also.


Serves 4

1 cup cowpeas
2 cups water
½ cup finely chopped onions
10 cloves of garlic finely chopped
½ cup tomato puree
2 tbsps oil or ghee
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain, ajmo)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ginger paste 
½ to 1 tsp red chilli powder
1″ cinnamon stick
6 cloves
8 peppercorns
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp grated jaggery (optional)
2 tbsps chopped fresh coriander
½ cup milk or fresh single cream

  1. Soak the cowpeas overnight in warm water. 
  2. Next day drain out the beans into a colander or sieve. Wash it and put it in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water. Cook for 3 whistles. 
  3. Put oil or ghee in a pan. When it is hot, add to it cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns.When they begin to sizzle, add the mustard, cumin and carom seeds.
  4. When they begin to splutter, add the onions. Saute them till they turn light brown in colour.
  5. Add the garlic and ginger. Saute for 2 mins or so.
  6. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and immediately add the tomato puree.
  7. Stir well. Add the cooked cowpeas along with the water. If the water is less, add a cupful more.
  8. Add salt and jaggery and let the curry simmer on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
  9. Take a masher and lightly mash some of the beans. This helps to thicken the curry.
  10. Just before serving add the milk or cream and stir.
  11. Garnish with fresh coriander.
Tips :
  • I usually add milk to avoid the extra calories.
  • Tr coconut milk instead of cream. Tastes good.
  • If you like can add thin slivers of ginger instead of the paste.
  • Thickness of the curry depends on you. I don’t like watery curry.
  • You can boil the cowpeas in a deep pan if you do not have a pressure cooker. It will take longer and you will need to add more water.


  • Anonymous

    March 16, 2014 at 4:58 am

    choli nu shaak / dal is just heaven. its like comfort food in our house

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