Black-Eyed Peas with Kale, Dill, and Curry Leaves

Black Eyed Peas with Kale and Dill

Uses Up: black-eyed peas, kale, fresh dill, yogurt, Halloumi cheese, bell pepper, limes.

This is my go-to recipe for when I have a dinner party and I need a really great veggie side. However, make no mistake, this side can also eat like a meal. It was also created at a time when I needed a recipe that used up an excess of fresh dill and some Halloumi cheese leftover from work.

For me, it’s the curry leaves that really are the star of this dish. They are NOT the same as curry powder, and, to my disappointment, not the same as the curry plant (which smells like curry) I had in my backyard either. Curry leaves are the herbs (leaves) that come from a curry tree and they have a unique aromatic nutty flavor that makes any dish shine. They’re not the easiest ingredient to find, but try looking at your local Indian grocer or ordering online—once you do find them, you will fall in love. Fresh leaves last up to two weeks in the fridge and they can be easily frozen for up to 1 year. If you find them dried, they will not be as strong, so add more than the recipe calls for.

Also a great recipe for using those black-eyed peas you bought but never got round to using or if you happen to love to grow kale in your backyard.

Substitutions: Swap Tuscan kale for regular kale or hardy bitter green such as Swiss chard or radicchio. Swap curry leaves for basil, some lime zest, or fresh bay leaves.

Black Eyed Peas with Kale and Dill

Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Vegan, vegetarian
Servings 4 as a main, 6-8 as a side


  • 1 cup dried or 1 (14 oz.) can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 10 fresh or 15-20 dried curry leaves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 biunch Tuscan (Dinosaur) kale, finely sliced into ribbons
  • 2 tsp sweet chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable stock
  • 8 1/2 oz. Halloumi cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1/2 lime juice to taste

Optional Garnish: Citrus wedges


    • If using dried black-eyed peas, soak them overnight with 1 tablespoon of salt to cut down your cooking time. Drain and rinse. In a large pot, bring the dried beans to a simmer in 8 to 10 cups water until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
    • Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and then the shallots, garlic, and curry leaves and sauté until softened. Stir in the cumin and mustard seeds and listen to hear the mustard seeds popping; this means they are toasted.
    • Stir in the kale, chili powder, salt, and pepper and continue to cook until wilted. Stir in the yogurt a bit at a time so it is absorbed. Stir in the chopped dill.
    • Slowly add the water and stir to create a sauce. Stir in the beans, Halloumi, and bell pepper to heat through. Stir in the lime juice, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Serve with the citrus wedges.
    Keyword bell peppers, black eyed peas, citrus, curry leaves, dill, kale, kale salad, side salads, vegetarian, yogurt

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