I’ve noticed a lot of Black-eyed Pea recipes popping up everywhere I look lately. Something about being lucky for New Years? I’ve never heard of the tradition and know nothing about it, but, if you do know what the whole deal is about…please enlighten me. (That said, I could probably just google it and find out…but I’d love to hear from you guys anyway…so leave me a comment if you know why Black-eyed Peas are so popular for New Years). Anyway, the point I was getting at was that seeing all those recipes reminded me that it’s been a long loooong time since I cooked or even had Black-eyed Peas. So I threw together this…
I’ve always liked black-eyed peas, although it baffles me why they’re called peas and not beans? Moving on…the dish I came up with was inspired by a dish my mom always made growing up, which was a curry with black-eyed peas and a leafy vine like vegetable called “Valchi bhaji” in my moms native tongue Konkani, which we grew at home. I don’t know exactly what it’s known as in the West but according to Wikipedia it’s closely related to Spinach and is sometimes called Malabar spinach, Indian Spinach or English Spinach.
Whatever the case, I made my own version of a curried black-eyed peas with (regular) baby spinach along with sausage to give it a slightly western touch and to make it a hearty one dish meal. It turned out lovely! Even the husband, who isn’t a fan any of the major components of the dish, gave it a try and really liked it. Although I added more cayenne pepper than I wrote down in this recipe, the dish didn’t turn out too spicy, but it did have a little zip to it. And the lemon juice in the add, gave the dish a tangy lift of freshness…which I love. All-in-all, it’s a healthy, hearty, flavorful dish that I’m sure if you make once, you’ll be making it again and again.
1 (15 oz) Can of Black-eyed Peas
1 (14 oz) Can Chicken Broth
1 (6-7 oz) Chorizo/Sausage (Any kind you like)
2 cups fresh Spinach
1 medium Onion
4 cloves Garlic
1/2 tsp ground Cumin
1/4 tsp Cayenne powder
1/2 tsp Curry Powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
- Start by finely dicing the onion and mincing the garlic cloves.
- Heat a little olive oil in a pot and sautee the onion for a few minutes on medium high heat, until they turn soft and translucent.
- Then add the minced garlic and sautee it for a couple more minutes with the onion.
- In the meantime, quickly chop up the sausage however you like. I chopped them in a small dice and add them to the pot.
- Sautee them for a while, until the sausage renders some of it’s fat and flavor.
- Add the ground cumin, cayenne (I love spicy foods and the spicier the better, so I added 1/2 tsp. But, if you don’t like the heat…stick to just 1/4 tsp or skip it entirely) and curry powder. Stir it all in.
- Next, drain and rinse the black-eyed peas and add them to the pot.
- Then, pour in the chicken broth and bring the whole thing to a boil.
- Season the dish with salt after taking a quick taste.
- To thicken the sauce, dissolve a tablespoon of flour in a little water
- Slowly pour in the flour mixture while stirring continuously and let the sauce thicken till your desired consistency. Turn the heat off.
- Add the spinach leaves and stir them in slowly as they begin to wilt.
- Lastly, squeeze some lemon juice over the top.
- Serve hot as a soup, as a side or as a main with a side of plain steamed rice. Its warm flavors are hearty & delicious!