Pick over the beans or peas and discard any discoloured ones or any small stones.
Wash the beans in a colander under cold running water.
Pour the beans into a heavy 2- to 3-quart saucepan.
Add the water, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and salt and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to low and cover partly. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan over high heat, melt the margarine, then add the onion, cumin seeds, and clove and reduce the heat to medium.
Saute until the onion is transparent and soft, about 6 minutes.
Once the beans have cooked through, add the onion mixture and simmer for 1 to 2 more minutes.