Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Black-Eyed Peas -- LOUDER!

so fresh you can still see it steaming
I wanted to make something other than our traditional Hoppin John and Cornbread so our family rang in 2012 with a kicked up version of a Black-Eyed Pea dish. Once again I turned to my favorite cook book  and opted for an Indian skillet with tantalizing spices that danced in the air as it cooked and had us all anticipating not only a good start to the year, but a GOOD dinner.

The recipe calls for tamarind concentrate, which I found at Whole Foods Market, but if you can't find it where you are, 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice can be used instead.

To save some time, you can use a good brand of canned black-eyed peas with no preservatives, I stumbled across some pre-soaked peas in the produce section of our local grocer that only required a 10 minute boil to be just the right consistency.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne (we went with 1/4)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas (rinsed and drained)
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
2 cups rinsed and chopped fresh spinach (we used whole baby spinach leaves)
The newest addition to our kitchen,
just in time to grind the coriander seeds
from last summer's cilantro plants.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add onions and garlic and saute until onions start to brown.
Add the ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander and salt and mix well.
~It starts to smell REALLY yummy right about now~
Stir in water, tamarind and black-eyed peas, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add tomatoes and spinach, cook until spinach wilts.

Serve immediately over rice or on it's own.
We added a dollop of sour cream for a nice texture and cooling complement to the spices. 

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