- 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
- 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 4 to 5 Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 10 to 12 fenugreek seeds
- 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons red chile powder
- 2 cups fermented bamboo shoots (available at Asian grocery stores)
- 3 medium tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 cup water
Potatoes, bamboo shoots and black-eyed peas, referred to as Aloo-Tama-Bodi, is one of the most popular Nepali dishes. It is served as a curry, and goes especially well with rice or bread.
Place the black-eyed peas in a bowl and cover them with water by at least an inch. Soak at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. Drain and set aside. Although I don’t encourage it, you could also cheat by using canned black-eyed peas — but be warned that it won’t taste as consistent and fresh as the ones you soak overnight.
Heat the sunflower oil in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sichuan pepper seeds and cumin seeds and fry until the cumin seeds are dark brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown and soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the potatoes and cook over medium heat, uncovered and stirring often, until the potatoes start to soften, about 15 minutes. Stir in the soaked, drained black-eyed peas. Add the salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander and red chile powder and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spices are very fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Add the bamboo shoots, stirring again to mix, and cook until the shoots are very soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the 1 cup water, and stir. Cook, covered, over low heat until the potatoes and beans are very soft and the tomatoes are almost completely broken down, about 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the mixture sit, covered, for at least 5 minutes. Transfer to a warm serving bowl.