July 15, 2008

Cowpea leaves stir fry - Payaru elai chundal

When Sangeeth announced this month's theme for Eat Healthy event, I was googling to find the protein chart of vegetarian foods. I came across this link , where in cow pea leaf tops the chart with highest content of protein. Also refer here for the detailed nutritional facts. It turns out that the plant’s leaves are more protein-rich than its bean. Then I decided what to cook for the event. Luckily, I had the cow pea plant with some new leaves, after the rains, in my garden. In summer I was about to pull it off, but since it had some peas hanging on to it to be matured, thought will do it later. Anyhow it survived summer. After the brief monsoon we had, there were fresh tender leaves. We do cook the leaves when ever we have fresh supplies at home. This is a simple stir fry which is very tasty too. Now after reading all the nutrient info on the leaves, there is a new found love for that. I have reserved some mature seeds for the next season, mainly for the fresh leaves.

Have a look at the leaves

The leaves appear in three's

Separate the leaves from the stalk before chopping.
Washed and finely chopped cow pea leaves - 3 cup

moong dal - 1/4 cup

turmeric powder - 1/4 tspn

green chilly - 2

fresh grated coconut - 2 tblspn



mustard seeds

red chilly - 1 no broken

Pressure cook the chopped leaves, moong dal with turmeric and salt. Add about 1/2 cup of water for the dal to cook. The leaves are not the soft kind, so will not turn mushy on pressure cooking.

Heat a kadai and do the seasoning. Add the cooked leaves and dal (Drain the excess water). Grind coconut and chillies together. Stir in the ground paste. Cook for a minute or two. The leaves after cooking will not turn very soft. Serve as side for rice with sambhar/morkootan.


  1. I ve never seen cow pea leaves before :) Look different and sure healthy the curry

  2. Is this Bachali kura in telugu?? hmm interesting.

  3. This is something totally new to me. Never heard about this leaves before. Very unique recipe.

  4. Nice and simple thoran, Jaya.....didn't know that the leaf has more protein than the beans....

  5. Never know that Cowpea leaves have more protein than beans....Fry looks delicious and yummy.....

  6. great jayshree....i have never heard of this leaf b4...thanks for sharing such a healthy recipe...

  7. cham, its not normally sold in shops. May be it is available with door-to-door vendors.

    kalva, i think i am unable to answer u. We call it pacha payaru. Does the kura u asked yeild any vegetables or is it just the kura?

    shriya, thanks.

    jayashree - yes, its simple but gr8 when it comes to nutrition.

    sireesha, thanks. Even that info was new to me.

    Sangeeth, thanks.

  8. i had not seen cow peas before .. looks like a healthy yummy dish

  9. Thanks for introducing me to cowpea leaves and its nutritional values! Very interesting and certainly worth a try if I can find them here :)

  10. notyet, thanks.

    Thanks VP. Do try if u come across the leaves sometime.

    A&N, Thanks for dropping by my blog. Yes, you should give a try if u can lay hands on those leaves.

  11. I feel this leaf is the same as chowli leaves, and it is a popular item among Maharashtrians. All these days I kept telling my frnds. South Indians never used them! Good recipe, and I will try this definitely!

  12. Unique and interesting,good one !

  13. Harini, I think both are same. I am interested to know how ur frnds cook this leaves. Do blog abt that.

    Thanks Usha.


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