Chora nu shaak is a Gujarati version of a black-eyed peas curry. Gujarati’s love black-eyed peas, and this is a favorite dish often served at special occasions, especially weddings. Other names for this dish might be chora nu shaak, chawli ki subzi, black-eyed peas curry, or lobia masala.
Since this is made in a Gujarati style, it includes a very Gujju spice profile: garlic, dana jeeru (coriander and cumin powder), and carom seeds.
One thing to notice about this recipe is the technique of making a wet-soaked paste. The spices are soaked in the tomato sauce before being added to the chora. This allows the flavors of the spices to bloom before cooking.
Tips for Cooking Chora Nu Shaak
This is overall a simple dish, once the ingredients are gathered they are thrown into an Instant Pot and cooked. But there are a couple of things to watch out for:
- Make sure to brown the besan by cooking it in the oil for about a minute. I always emphasize this step when cooking with besan like this. Raw besan gives an unpleasant taste.
- After cooking the besan, ginger, and garlic, when you add in the wet masala, deglaze the bottom of the pan by scraping with your spatula or spoon. You don’t want residue at the bottom to burn as it cooks.
- I do recommend soaking the chora but it is not a requirement. If you don’t, soak it ahead of time, just make sure to cook for an extra 5 minutes.
- Some people might say I overcook my chora here, I prefer the softer texture. If you don’t, you might reduce the cooktime by 5 minutes.
- Jaggery is optional. Gujaratis love to add sugar to everything, but many people prefer Gujarati shaaks without the added sweetness.
What to Serve with Chora Nu Shaak
Chora nu shaak is a Gujarati kathor. It goes well alongside any kind of Gujarati shaak, like tindora nu shaak, and alongside a good rice and dal. Make sure to serve it with some roti or puri.
Chora nu Shaak
- 1 cup black eyed peas
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 2 tsp dhana jeeru (1 tsp roasted cumin powder + 1 tsp coriander powder)
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ½ cup water
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp carom seeds
- ¼ tsp hing
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 6 garlic cloves finely chopped or grated into a paste
- 1 dry red chili optional
- 1 Tbsp besan gram flour
- salt, to taste
- Cilantro to taste
- Lemon juice to taste
- 1 Tbsp jaggery or sugar; to taste
- Cook the black eyed peas in the Instant Pot with 2 cups of water for 30 minutes.
- While the black-eyed peas are cooking, combine all of the masala paste ingredients in a bowl and let them sit.
- Remove the cooked black-eyed peas from the Instant Pot. Wipe the pot dry with a clean cloth.
- Heat oil on saute mode. Add cumin, hing (asafoetida), carom, garlic, red chili and bay leaf. Stir.
- Add ginger and besan. Stir and let besan brown, about 1 minute.
- Add the paste, deglaze the bottom of the pan, and let cook for 3-5 minutes, until oil rises to the top.
- Add the drained chora (black-eyed peas), cook 8 minutes. Add more water to get desired consistency.
- Garnish with cilantro and top with a squeeze of lemon.