Spicy Black Eyed Peas Stew

Every year on the first of the year we try to cook up a big batch of black eyed peas. So as the first of the year is just a night away, thought I will post one of my favorite (slightly adapted from previous) recipe of black eyed peas.

In parts of US it is considered a good luck to eat a meal of black eyed peas alongwith some greens (usually sautéed collard greens) and cornbread on the first day of the year. The symbolism behind this is really cute. The black eyed peas swell during the process of cooking (from dried to cooked). The swelling of the peas indicates prosperity in the coming year. The greens indicate 'greens'=money for the new year. and the spiciness of the food is symbolic of the the spice in your life for the year ahead. 

More than the symbolism though, I follow this food tradition because I really like black eyed peas and this is a good opportunity to cook a big batch of these delicious but often side-stepped legume.

Being a lazy and greedy person that I am, I tend to cook all the prosperity, wealth and spiciness in one single pot instead of making multiple dishes :) One pot meals rule in our house-hold! Anyway, so here is to prosperity, wealth, spiciness and happiness to all of you in the coming new year! Happy New Year!!
Recipe Source: Updated from my own previously posted recipe (sorry, no new photos this time - reusing the old ones!)

1C dried black eyed peas
4C water
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece of ginger
Handful of spinach leaves
1can diced fire roasted tomatoes (can substitute with fresh or regular canned tomatoes but fire roasted tomatoes bring out this smoky taste that I really like)
olive oil

1Tbsp good quality curry powder
1tsp paprika (smoked paprika preferred) -- for color; can substitute with red chili powder.pinch of oregano
salt, black pepper
juice of 1 lemon (or lime)

  1. Rinse and pressure cook black eyed peas with 4C water. No soaking is necessary when you are pressure cooking the beans. With my pressure cooker I pressure cooked them for 3 whistles (alternative method in note-1). A little underdone black eyed peas are okay as they will cook a bit more with the rest of the spices later.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot on medium-low heat. Add chopped onions and cook for a few minutes.
  3. When onions are tender add finely chopped ginger and garlic. Cook for a few more minutes until aromatic.
  4. Add chopped greens to the pot and cook for just a few more minutes until the greens are wilted.
  5. Add canned tomatoes, paprika and cook for 10minutes or so until the rawness of the tomatoes is gone.
  6. Transfer cooked black eyed peas to the soup pot next. Add curry powder, oregano and salt to taste. Cook for 10more minutes on low heat uncovered.
  7. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and ground black pepper. Adjust the seasonings per taste. Serve hot with hot bread of rice!
1) You can always cook the beans on stove top. If you want to try stove top method then just soak the beans overnight with enough water. Then cook them on stove-top for an hour or so with enough water until they are tender.
2) This recipe is a very forgiving one so feel free to substitute and experiment to your liking! Spiciness, smokiness are all relative, so please also adjust the seasonings as they suite you the best.


indosungod said…
Happy New Year to you PJ. Thanks for the glimpse of your little one in the previous post.
May this year bring much prosperity and happiness like the swelling black eyed peas.
PJ said…
Hi Indo, wish you and your family a very happy new year to you!