The black-eyed pea (and no, not the music group) was originally introduced in the northern part of Africa where it was consumed for centuries. My mom once told me this type of bean was also brought over to India well over a thousand years ago. The interesting part is that black-eyed peas have become a common food in the US [mainly the South], being available in a variety of forms: fresh, canned, dry, or frozen. These peas are exceptionally flavorful (more so than any other sort of legumes I've cooked before) and they can be used in many different dishes like soups, salads, pastas, or even simply in a pita.
We actually ate ours by the bowl and also topped it with fresh salsa for an extra zing. The following recipe is derived from my mom's recipe bank, aka my holy grail of recipe books.
2 cups dried black eyed peas
2 1/2 cups water, seperated
2-3 cooking spoons oil
1 large onion
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder [optional]
Half of a small jalapeño, finely chopped [optional]
1 small to medium sized lemon, juice squeezed
Handful cilantro, chopped
1. Soak the black eyed peas in water for 2-4 hours
2. Grind the onion in a food processor until smooth
3. Add the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion mixture until it becomes translucent and slightly golden
4. Add 1 cup water, salt, chili powder, turmeric and asafoetida powder and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, mixing occasionally
5. After the water from the mixture has dried up and dissolved, add the tomato sauce and beans
6. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cup water and bring mixture to a boil
7. Once boiling, switch the heat to medium, add the chopped jalapeño, and cover and cook for 35-45 minutes
8. Once the beans are cooked (should be soft and edible) add the lemon juice and handful cilantro
Enjoy! And if you decide to recreate a version of this, or any future dishes, please send me pictures and let me know how it turned out! Don't forget to tag and hashtag @sobiasiddiqui and #modalacarte on IG.