It is a simple and very nutritious dish from Nepal, where it is made with bamboo shoots that grow in the southern Himalayan forests. (I use canned, thinly sliced bamboo shoots instead.) While it is sometimes described as a soup, it is really a main dish, eaten with rice. You can also serve it with crusty bread and a salad.

    SERVES 4


    • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, washed and soaked overnight
    • An 8-oz can thinly sliced bamboo shoots (1 cup drained weight), cut into ¾ inch pieces
    • 2 medium waxy potatoes (about 9 oz in all), peeled and cut into ¾ inch dice
    • 2 tablespoons olive or peanut oil
    • 1 medium onion (5 oz), peeled and chopped
    • 1½ teaspoons peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1 medium tomato (5 oz), finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
    • ¼–1 teaspoon nice red chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt

    1. Drain the peas and place in a pan with the bamboo shoots, potatoes, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil. Skim off the froth, lower the heat, and simmer very gently for 40 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium-sized frying pan set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and fry for about 5 minutes, or until they just start to brown. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir for a minute. Add the tomatoes and lower the heat to medium. Stir in the cumin, turmeric, and chili powder and cook on medium heat until the sauce is thick.

    3. When the peas are done, mix in the salt. Add the tomato mixture and mix well. Continue to cook the beans for another 20 minutes, or until all the seasonings and beans have unified.