Black-eyed peas, those cute little suckers, are delicious in just about anything you add them to. But in this rather simple recipe for vegan Black-Eyed Pea Cakes, they are simply divine.
But first, are you in one piece after the holidays? With all of our extended family back in India, holidays are usually a quiet affair here for Desi, Jay, and me, sometimes with a friend or two adding extra joy. It’s the time when I most miss having family around, especially when everyone else is busy visiting theirs. But — frankly — it also makes me glad not to have to get ready to entertain half a dozen or more people. Or have fights with.
Isn’t it amazing that no matter how different we are, and where in the world we come from, the politics of our families are exactly the same?
Anyway, once we were done unwrapping the presents, eating a fattening lunch, and being complete slobs around the house, I turned my attention to what I should cook for you for the New Year. C’mon, is it really 2017 already?
I always have black-eyed peas in my pantry and they do have that reputation of being a New Year’s charm. In legume worshipping India, these little fellas are as popular as pop stars, and my mom would often mix them up into a tasty curry like this black-eyed peas dal. It was probably her cooking that made me fall so in love with black-eyed peas, and they have always been some of my favorite beans to cook with. I’ve shared with you numerous black-eyed peas recipes over the years, including this colorful Caribbean Black-Eyed Peas Stew, a Crockpot Black-Eyed Peas Stew, these Black-Eyed Pea Fritters, and many more.
The Black-Eyed Pea Cakes are probably my new favorite way to eat this legume. For one, I love how short the ingredient list is. If you don’t count the usual suspects, the salt and the ground black pepper and the oil, there are just six ingredients in this recipe. And nothing fancy, I promise, unless you consider cilantro fancy in which case you should have your head examined.
It took me less than 30 minutes to mix up these Black-Eyed Pea Cakes once I had the beans all cooked (and you can use canned) and fry them. And if the word “fry” makes you think of a large pot of oil, set your mind at ease: you just need enough to coat the bottom of a skillet, and you can brush it on. Or use a fat-free oil spray and you’ll have fat-free Black-Eyed Pea Cakes. Could you get any luckier than that?
Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Cakes
- 1 cup black eyed peas (Dry. Soak overnight, then cook until tender. Substitute with two 14-oz cans of canned, drained black-eyed peas)
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1 medium onion (minced)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup cilantro (finely chopped)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp olive oil (plus more for coating the pan)
- 1/2 cup cornmeal (for dredging the cakes)
- Drain the black eyed peas thoroughly after cooking. Place in a bowl and mash well.In a small skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil.Add the onions and garlic and saute until softened but not browned, about five minutes over medium-low heat.Add the onions and garlic to the bowl with the black-eyed peas. Stir in the cilantro, ground black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes, if using. Mix in the rice flour. You should have a slightly moist mixture that should hold when you take a small portion and form it into a cake.Coat or spray a large skillet with oil over medium-high heat.Divide the mixture into 10 cakes. Dredge in the cornmeal and add to the hot pan. Cook on each side until golden-brown.Serve hot.
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