Thatta Payir( Karamani) Kara Kulambu / Black Eyed Peas Gravy


        This dish is famous in Tamilnadu, Southern Part of India which is healthy, tangy and flavorful. This tastes divine and they are made with karamani or thatta payir or black – eyed peas in a tamarind gravy, which is a tasty rendition of tamil culture and village cuisine. When combined with rice mixed with sesame oil( gingelly oil ) makes a wonderful lunch. This dish goes well with appalam or papad or kootu or creamy spinach


           1/2 Cup of Karamani / Black eyed Beans / Cow Peas
           1 Large Red Onion, Finely Chopped
           5 – 7 Garlic Cloves    
           1/4 Tsp of Turmeric Powder

           1 Tbsp of  Vatha Kulambu Podi(Spice Powder)
           Lemon Sized Tamarind
           1/2 Tsp of Jaggery or Sugar
           Salt and water as needed

   To Temper

            1 Tbsp of Gingelly Oil (Indian Sesame Oil)
            1 Tsp of Mustard Seeds
            1 Tsp of Urad Dal
            1/4 Tsp of Fenugreek
            2 Red Chillies
            Few Curry Leaves
            Pinch Of Hing / Asafoetida


  • Soak karamani or thatta payir or black eyed peas for overnight in 2 cups of water along with little salt.
  • Drain the water and wash it tap running water for 2 mins.
  • Pressure cook the black eyed peas/ karamani along with enough water and salt for 2 whistles. Then simmer it for 15 mins. After 15 mins, turn off the stove.
  • Extract the juice from the tamarind by keeping it in hot water for 15 mins.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add red chillies (break it ) and wait until it turns to dark brown color.
  • Add mustard, urad dal, fenugreek, curry leaves and hing (add one by one). After it splutter, add garlic and fry for few mins until raw smell vanishes.
  • Add chopped onion and salt, saut’e for few mins until it turns transparent.
  • Add karamani (Black eyed peas or thatta payir), turmeric powder and vatha kulambu powder. Saute for a 1 -2 mins. 
  • Now add thick tamarind juice. Mix well and add enough water based on your consistency and cover it with a lid and cook in medium flame for 7-10 mins.
  • When the kulambu gets thick enough, add sugar or jaggery, mix well and turn off the stove.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with rice and kootu


  • Use shallots or small onion instead of big onion, it tastes great.
  • You can use 2 tsp coriander powder and 1tsp of chilly powder instead of Vatha kulambu powder.
  • You can add vegetables like drum stick or brinjal to this kulambu. 
  • Add salt while frying onion so it helps to cook onion faster,
  • Adding sugar/ jaggery gives little sweet flavor in spicy curry. 

       Health Benefits of Karamani / Black eyed Beans

    • They are a source of good protein (23-32%) and dietary fiber.
    • They have low glycemic index
    • Rich source of lysine and tryptophan
    • It has minerals like K, Mg, Ca, P and Fe
    • The protein isolates are known to lower plasma cholesterol
    • Light brown, red and black – eyed varieties are rich in antioxidants.
    • The flavonoids in beans may help reduce heart disease and cancer risk.
    • Phytosterols present in the beans help reduce blood cholesterol levels.

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