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Easy Protein-Packed Lobia Recipe: Don’t Miss These Black-Eyed Peas

Many people don’t know what lobia is. Some think it’s only for animal fodder. Many Indian households cook lobia as tasty dal recipe. Try one easy recipe here.

Shipra Singh
Yummy lobia dish
Yummy lobia dish

Have you ever consumed lobia or heard of this variety of beans? Known as cowpea in English, lobia looks like kidney beans (rajma), but is smaller in size than kidney beans. Lobia beans are usually creamy white in color with a black eye. That’s why it is also called black-eyed peas. In some areas, lobia is called rongi and chawalie 

Lobia Cultivation areas 

Lobia is a minor pulse grown in arid and semi arid regions of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, and Western UP. You can find considerable area under lobia cultivation in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.  

Features of Lobia 

Cowpea or lobia is a hardy plant that can endure drought like situations. It features droopy and wide leaves that helps to conserve soil moisture by providing enough shading.  


Lobia is used as human food, animal feed and fodder, forage, and as green manure. These beans or seeds are highly nutritious and also serve as cheap feed for livestock.  

People use seeds, both green and dried, for boiling and canning.  

Uses in Indian Kitchen  

Most of the households in North India cook lobia as dal. And it tastes yummy. You can say it is a good alternative of rajma. Have it with rice for a hearty meal.  

These beans are also used to produce flours. Many people roast the beans and add them to salads to pack a protein punch to their dish. You can also find these beans in Mediterranean cuisines. One example is falafel.  

Nutrition and health benefits 

Lobia is rich in protein. In fact, this is a great source for plant-based protein. Some people call lobia vegetarians’ meat, as it contains almost similar amount of protein as that in meat.  

Lobia is high in fiber. Nutritionists advise people on a weight loss diet to include lobia in their meals.  

Lobia is believed to encourage heart health by correcting cholesterol levels. And these beans are high in energy. Eat a bowlful and you feel fuller and energetic for longer. 

So, if you know you have a hard day to go, have a bowl of lobia for breakfast.  

An easy lobia recipe for you 

You can cook lobia within 20 minutes, but for that, you must soak the beans in water for about an hour. If you are planning to cook lobia for breakfast, it’s best to soak the beans overnight. They will be cooked faster the next morning.  

Although everybody has different tastes and experiments with recipes, but this easy recipe uses no onions.  


  • Chopped tomatoes

  • Green chillies

  • Ginger 

  • Turmeric

  • Cumin seeds

  • Hing (asafetida) 

  • Spices like dalchini, black elaichi, black pepper, cloves, bay leaves, etc. 


  • Saute the spices, ginger, green chillies, and chopped tomatoes in a pressure cooker or “kadai.” 

  • Now, add turmeric, red chilli(if you want), and salt to taste.  

  • Add pre-soaked lobia beans after separately the water.  

  • Let everything cook for 2 minutes. Stir. Lobia and the tomato gravy will become semi-cooked through steam.  

  • Add water (you can add the same water in which you soaked lobia).

  • Close the lid of kadai or pressure cooker. In case of kadai, let it cook for 15-20 minutes. In case of pressure cooker, let it cook till 2 whistles.  

  • Your lobia dish will be ready as a rich gravy with an appetizing spicy aroma.  

Garnish it with freshly cut coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or roti.

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