Friday, January 01, 2021

A little bit of luck, a whole lot of beans and greens!

"Its a new day, its a new we are, still goin' strong..."

So crooned singer Bryan Adams in his hit song - Here I am..

Seems pretty apt for the time that we all find ourselves in. Its the beginning of a brand new year. We have, hopefully learned a few things about the people around us and more importantly, a lot about ourselves. If nothing else, then 2020 should have served as the year of new insights, new adventures, new perspectives along with a dash of renewed hope, renewed contentment with what we have and a resolve to continue to improve, no matter what. 

With that, I will move on from that topic and resume with regular programming!! 

Among the many recipes that crop up during the New Years Day, I kept seeing a lot of pages devoted to a dish called Hopping John. Its a classic southern US dish, usually eaten on New Year's Day and is supposed to bring in a lot of luck. Traditionally, its a dish with rice, black eyed peas, onions and eaten with collard greens. The idea of a hearty dish with beans and greens sounded lovely for a cold day here in North Dallas and who wouldn't want a bit of fortune to go along with that? 

So that was what went on my menu plan for the day. I had to check to make sure I had some beans, I didn't want to make a trip to a grocery store just to get beans. I have been trying to limit my trips to grocery stores - less exposure, less impulsive buys and more opportunities to use up what I already have in the pantry. I knew I had about half a cup of dried black eyed peas, some red peas and frozen greens. 

I made the dish for lunch in my Instant Pot, served it up with steamed white rice and the whole family gobbled it up with relish. I hope you try this dish.

                             Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year! 


1/2 C dried black eyed peas

1/2 C red beans (Rajma)

1/2 C chopped onions

1 medium tomato, diced

2 C mixed chopped greens (I used spinach and amaranth greens)

 2 tsp oil (I used avocado oil)

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp curry powder ( I used Kitchen King) 

1 tsp salt

1 tsp jaggery(any unrefined sugar) (optional)


1. Wash the beans and soak them in plenty of water for at least 8 hours or overnight. I would really recommend this step so that the beans cook up very nicely.

2. Set the Instant Pot to saute mode. Once its hot, add the oil. Add the chopped onion, ginger and garlic and fry for a minute or two. 

3. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are soft. Add all the spice powders and mix well.

4. Drain the beans and add them to the pot. Add enough water to cover the beans.

5. Add chopped greens of choice. Add the salt and the jaggery and mix well.

6. Cover the lid of the Instant Pot and change the setting to Beans. This cooks on high pressure for 30 minutes. If you had soaked your beans well, this time should be sufficient. If not, you might need to cook for an additional 10 minutes. 

7. Wait for the pressure to release naturally. If you are in a hurry, wait for at least 10 minutes before a quick steam release.

8. Stir well, add more water to adjust consistency, if required. Mash a few of the beans to get a smooth texture. Serve piping hot with rice.


1. I really enjoyed this dish. Admittedly, I veered quite a bit from the original recipe, but still! The heartiness of the beans and the earthiness of the greens, combined with the potent spices is a wonderful meal. 

2. You can use a combination of any beans and greens for this dish, I would just recommend that you check the cooking times for the beans.

3. If you use canned beans and frozen greens, this can become a very quick - cooking dish.

4. I used amaranth greens that I grew in my backyard this past summer and froze the excess.  Other greens of choice would be collard greens, chard, spinach. 

5. You could use powdered ginger and garlic, but fresh is always better! 

6. Instead of white rice, you could always use quinoa, brown rice or millet or any grain of your choice. 

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