Black-eyed peas are one of those overlooked ingredients that I rarely cook with but always enjoy. Here’s another adaptation of a dish from Marcus Samuelsson’s “The Soul of a New Cuisine”. Starting with dried beans makes this an economical side dish, and I’m eating it with pork and collard greens for the full ‘Southern’ effect :)
Coconut Black-Eyed Peas
1 cup dried black-eyed peas
1/4 cup butter or spiced butter (niter kibbeh)
1/2 white onion, chopped
3-4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 green chile pepper or jalapeno, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp. Berbere spice (or 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder + 1/2 tsp. ground cumin)
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
Cilantro, to garnish
Soak the dried black-eyed peas in cold water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain the black-eyed peas, add new water and simmer for 45 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat and add the onion, chile pepper, and tomatoes. Saute for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, coconut milk and chili powder or Berbere. Stir briefly to combine. Then add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes (this can be done while you are cooking the black-eyed peas).
When the sauce is thickened, add the drained black-eyed peas and salt to taste. Simmer for another 20 minutes until the liquid is mostly absorbed and the flavors are well-blended. This could be served as a side dish, or on top of rice for a main dish.