So I am up to my eyeballs in a dreadful, miserable, head-numbing cold that just refuses to go away. But it’s exactly at times like these that I start dreaming of spicy, hot, steaming bowls of stew, like this Caribbean Black Eyed Peas Stew.
I am a true fan of Caribbean cuisine. I could eat some roti and curry for my last meal, and just about every day before that. And black-eyed peas are one of my most favorite denizens of beanworld. Partly because they’re so delicious and creamy, but also because I love me a rebel that wants to be called a pea when it’s really a bean.
This is a versatile recipe. You can chop up all sorts of veggies into it, especially root vegetables which go perfectly with the spicy kick and the tender peas. I used sweet potatoes and carrots and potatoes, but I also added in some red peppers. Yummy yum.
One of the elements that adds vast amounts of flavor to this recipe is the pepper: a scotch bonnet pepper, a common ingredient in Caribbean cuisine. This is a round little pepper very similar in looks and flavor to a habanero, with tons of smoky flavor. If you can’t find a scotch bonnet, use a habanero instead.
This is very much a kid-friendly recipe if you have a kid who appreciates spice. There’s tons of flavor here, and see how pretty that stew is with all those colorful veggies? I can’t think of anything I’d rather have right now to clear my head. Off I go to ladle out a bowlful.
But first, the recipe. Enjoy!
- 1½ cups black eyed peas. Soak the dry peas in water overnight or for eight hours, and then cook in a pressure cooker or in a pot, with enough water to cover, for an hour or until the peas are really tender but not falling apart.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 medium potatoes, diced
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 1 sweet potato, diced
- 1 bell pepper (any color is fine), diced
- ½ scotch bonnet pepper (use habanero as a substitute-- use less because it's spicier)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp dry thyme
- 1 tsp ground black mustard seeds
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup coriander leaves (cilantro), minced
- Heat the oil and add the onions and garlic. Saute until brown spots appear on the onions.
- Add the powdered spices-- the ginger, allspice, cardamom and mustard and stir to mix well.
- Add the carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers and potatoes and stir to mix.
- Add the black eyed peas, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, coriander leaves, and enough water to make a stew. Stir well to mix.
- Bring the stew to a boil, cover, lower heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until all the flavors have melded together.
- Stir in the cilantro, add salt to taste.
- Serve hot with some rice or bread.