Alsande Tonak | Goan Black Eyed Peas Curry

A Goan style black eyed peas gravy, made with a delicious roasted sauce of spices and coconut… 




I love black eyed peas. When umma makes curry out of it, I literally scoop out the peas from the curry and really enjoy it. Once when I shared it on my Instagram stories, a lovely follower messaged me about this curry. She said that if I am crazy about black eyed peas, I would surely love this curry. I had actually forgotten about it till I was racking my head on curries to try for this week’s Blogging Marathon #137 theme of “Gravies with Lentils/ Beans”. I was suddenly reminded about it and pulled out from the bookmarks. I checked my stock and I had exactly enough black eyed peas to make this curry. 😀


I have always felt that Goan cooking is very close to our Kerala style, mainly due to the use of a lot of coconut. A few months ago, we had visited this Goan restaurant called Eric’s in Karama and the food was truly lipsmacking. I even have a cookbook with Goan recipes, but just like the fate of all my other cookbooks, it is also resting along with them. :/ Anyway, from what I read, “Alsande” is actually cow pea beans, which are half the size of the black eyed beans, however many recipes do use the latter. “Tonak” refers to the process of making the gravy, ie. roasting whole spices and roasting coconut, to be ground to be made a paste. The procedure of making this curry can be split into three, ie. cooking the peas till done, roasting the spices and the coconut mixture and then grinding them to a smooth paste, before bringing it all in to make the finally curry. I found the process very intriguing. The whole thing does take a little time, especially the time taken for the coconut, onion and garlic to get sauteed and done. I ground it along with the whole spice powders not to waste more time. Thanks to the coconut, the gravy is on the thicker side, so you can up the gravy as you like it. If you do love black eyed peas, you would surely love this one. A special thanks once again to the follower who hinted me about this super delicious gravy… 🙂



5 from 1 vote

Alsande Tonak | Goan Black Eyed Peas Curry

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rafeeda AR


  • 1 cup black eyed peas soaked overnight
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp sugar or jaggery powder
  • Coriander leaves for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 6 dry Kashmiri chilli
  • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 6-8 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon


  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A fat pinch asafoetida
  • One sprig curry leaves


  • Drain and wash the black eyed peas. Cook till done in a pressure cooker with water and salt. Drain and set aside.
  • In a pan, roast the spices first just till aromatic. Empty into a large grinder jar to cool.
  • In the same pan, dry roast the coconut, onion and garlic till the coconut turns golden brown. Make sure to stir in between to avoid burning.
  • Add into the grinder jar with the spices. Allow to cool.
  • Add turmeric powder and water little by little to grind the mixture to a smooth paste. You can add upto one cup of water.
  • In a saucepan, add the drained peas and the ground mixture. Add water as necessary. Bring to simmer.
  • Adjust seasoning, add the sugar. Simmer for around ten minutes or till the gravy tastes done.
  • Switch off and sprinkle the coriander leaves.
  • Prepare tempering by heating coconut oil. Splutter the mustard seeds, fry the asafoetida and curry leaves. Switch off and sprinkle on the curry.
  • Let the curry rest for around ten minutes. Enjoy it warm with rice or roti.


Join the Conversation

  1. Looks amazing.. will try soon

  2. 5 stars
    Wow! The spices are certainly the star of the flavors here. shall come to this post when i am making back eyed peas.

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