Aloo Tama Bodi (bambooshoots with black eyed peas soup)

Aloo Tama Bodi is a very classic Nepali curry with somewhat pungent, sour flavor from tama (pickled bamboo shoots) cooked with potatoes (aloo) and black eyed peas (bodi). Its one of those dish you either like it or don’t because tama has a very strong aroma, its so pungent that your whole house smells like tama for days, and don’t be surprised if your next door neighbor asks you about your dinner the other day!

Nevertheless the smell and weird look from the neighbor, I absolutely love this dish ; the smell, texture of bamboo shoots, and every bite from black eyed peas is totally worth it. 

In the Southern United States, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bring prosperity in the new year.

…another reason I love this dish is my emotional connection to it. It reminds of times where I shared a big bowl of aloo tama bodi with my parents over dinner, or with large group of family members during festivals; its more of a comforting feeling & great times we all shared back home as its widely eaten both on regular days and on special occasions in almost all Nepali household.

Before you get to cooking – be sure to open your windows, turn on the kitchen vents, and close all the doors to your room and coat closets.

The recipe may vary among person to person but I am sharing the recipe I  learned from my mom and aunt using a pressure cooker.

Aloo Bodi Tama

2-3 servings

1/2 bamboo shoots, sliced
1/2 cup black eyed peas (preferably soaked over night)
2 small potatoes, cubed
1/2 onions, sliced
1 tomato,chopped
1/2 green bell peppers, diced
1 tablespoon garlic/ginger paste
1-2 green chillies, finely chopped
2 tablespoon oil (canola/vegetable)
2-3 teaspoon cumin and coriander powder
1-2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon red chili powder
salt to taste
water, varies depending upon how thick you want your final product
cilantro leaves, chopped (for garnish)

*pickled bamboo shoots are usually found at Asian supermarket or International food section at major grocery stores. It can be found canned or in plastic container and make sure to get the sliced ones.

-Over medium heat, in a pressure add 2 tablespoon oil and fry onions until soft then add garlic ginger paste
-Add potatoes, fry for few minutes, then add turmeric powder
-Add blackeyed peas, continue stirring then add bamboo shoots, bell peppers & tomatoes
-Lower the hit just a little bit and add all the spices listed above
-Stir everything until well combined then add water (about 3-4 cups) then allow it to pressure cook for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes and black eyed peas are soft/cooked thoroughly
-Add water if necessary and let it simmer until it reaches the desired consistency. Adjust taste as necessary
-Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro leaves before serving 
I normally like it with plain, white Basmati rice but don’t mind a big bowl by itself.


  1. says

    Dixya – looks very interesting, like dal with veggies. Never had this dish. Bamboo shoots is usually used in Chinese cuisine.. so it’s interesting how you incorporated it in Nepalese. Makes sense. :)

    • says

      Hi Nisha, you are right about this dish – combo of Indian spices with few Chinese ingredients. its a pretty classic dish in Nepali cuisine.

  2. says

    This is totally my kind of dish – and I am so intrigued by the bamboo shoots, as I have never seen it with a curry before. A must try, for sure!

  3. says

    This aloo tama bodi looks incredible, Dixya! And I wouldn’t mind the smell at all – besides, the sacrifice is worth it for such a pungently delicious dish 😉 Btw, I didn’t know that factoid about black-eyed peas and Southern cooking – interesting!

    Happy New Year! :)

    • says

      I learned about the black eyed peas in one of the blog and thought it would be interesting to mention it :) this dish inspite of its pungent smell- soo worth it. let me know if you end up trying it :)

  4. says

    This looks delicious and warming. As it happens, I’ve got some cooked black eyed peas in the fridge left over from our New Year’s Day meal, and this sounds like just the recipe I need to use them up. Perfect for this winter weather!

  5. says

    Dixya If I may call you by your name?, I love this food although I’m scare of pressure cookers or just the one my Bf has… Funny how you suggest to open windows and closing doors to rooms. I am gonna try some of your recipes thank you for sharing.

    • says

      you can def. call me Dixya. pressure cookers are tricky esp. if you are new to the instructions carefully before operating it and even if you dont have pressure cooker- you can cook in a regular sauce pan/heavy bottom pot it only takes longer time to cook. Since our spices/curry has a strong smell, I prefer opening windows esp with tama, i would! Let me know how those recipes turn out for you :)

  6. says

    Yum, yum, yummmmmmmmmmmmmm!! Looks amazing. I think I’ll make some for dinner. It’s cold and windy and sounds totally perfect right about now. It’s funny, ya know, any relative I have in Nepal that the family teases as being “moti,” by American standards is really thin. I think it’s truly because dishes like Tama-Aloo are so healthy and they’re really like comfort-foods which evoke those amazing memories much like mashed potatoes and gravy or mac n’ cheese does here in America… but dishes like Tama-Aloo are actually really healthy and really low in fat so I think this Thanksgiving I’ll give thanks to those of us who have the good fortune of living a very cross-cultural life :) Able to appreciate the deliciousness of good ol’ pumpkin pie, while also finding comfort in more healthier options like this one. Not to mention the color! So beautiful :) Thanks for the post!

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