If using dried peas, soak the black-eyed peas overnight in water that covers them well. Drain, add the peas along with fresh water to a pot, and cook the peas while preparing the other ingredients, about forty minutes.
Pour the oil into a heavy, largish pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the cumin and fennel seeds. Let them sizzle for 10 seconds and then add the onions. Stir and fry until the onion pieces turn brown at the edges.
Add the garlic, ginger, and green chili. Stir for a minute. Add the tomato purée. Stir for a minute.
Now add the drained, cooked peas (or drained, canned peas), salt, cayenne, squash, and 2 cups of water to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover partially, then turn the heat down to low and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the peas are tender and the water is absorbed.
Reprinted with permission of At Home with Madhur Jaffrey
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