Soak black eyed peas in sufficient water overnight or for 8 hours. Drain and keep aside.
In a wok, heat oil and add cumin seeds. Add bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorn, cardamom, mace and curry leaves. Cook for two minutes.
Now add finely chopped onion and ginger garlic paste along with green chillies. Saute on low flame for 5-8 minutes while stirring. Add coconut slices or grated coconut. Cook for 5 minutes more.
Now cool the mixture and blend to a smooth paste.
Take a Pressure cooker or instant pot and add the blended paste along with drained black eyed peas. Add turmeric powder, cayenne (optional), coriander powder and salt. Cook for 4 whistles and release the pressure naturally. Your black eyed peas must be cooked and soft. Add tamarind paste and sambar powder (or garam masala powder). Taste and adjust seasoning.
Garnish with cilantro. Your black eyed peas is ready to eat with rice or rotis.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook in a pan with lid. But the cooking time will increase. It may take from 20-30 minutes for the peas to cook.
Please adjust the chillies and cayenne as per your preference. This is a spicy curry but you can adjust it to your taste.
Adding coconut gives a certain creaminess and body to the curry.
Soaking the black eyed peas reduces their cooking time.