Vegetable Stew with spiced cow peas

Vegetable Stew with spiced cow peas


Embrace the vibrant flavours of India with this hearty and wholesome stew, featuring succulent brown cowpeas, a medley of vegetables, and a symphony of spices.


  • 1 cup brown cowpeas, soaked overnight or for 8 hours
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (corn, carrots, peas)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Cook the Cowpeas: Drain the cowpeas and rinse them well. Transfer them to a large pot and cover them with water by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 45-60 minutes, or until the cowpeas are tender.
  2. Sauté the Onions and Spices: Heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and red chili powder. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the spices are fragrant.
  3. Incorporate the Tomatoes and Vegetables: Add the diced tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened and broken down. Stir in the frozen mixed vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are heated through.
  4. Add the Cooked Cowpeas: Drain the cooked cowpeas and add them to the pot with the vegetables. Stir to combine.
  5. Season and Simmer: Season with salt to taste. Bring the stew to a simmer and let it cook for 5-7 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld and intensify.
  6. Finish with Cilantro: Stir in the chopped fresh cilantro and serve hot with your favourite Indian flatbread, such as roti, naan, or paratha.


  • For a richer flavour and texture, you can roast the spices before adding them to the stew. Toast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric powder, and red chili powder in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, then grind them together.
  • If you don't have fresh cilantro, you can use dried cilantro leaves.
  • This stew is also great with other vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers, or potatoes. Just add them to the pot with the frozen mixed vegetables and cook until tender.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve Spiced Cow Peas and Vegetable Stew with roti, naan, or paratha.
  • For a more flavourful dish, add a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream to each serving.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro or chopped green onions.


  • For a spicier stew, add more red chili powder or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • For a sweeter stew, add a tablespoon of sugar or a dollop of honey.
  • If you don't have frozen mixed vegetables, you can use any combination of your favourite vegetables.
  • For a vegan stew, omit the ghee and use vegetable broth instead of water.

Tips for Serving:

  • Serve Spiced Cow Peas and Vegetable Stew hot, as it will continue to thicken as it cools.
  • If you want to make the stew ahead of time, you can cook the cowpeas, vegetables, and spices and then reheat it before serving.
  • Reheat the Spiced Cow Peas and Vegetable Stew in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • You can also reheat the dish in a microwave-safe dish, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

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