Black-eyed Peas and Greens with Navrattan Spices to start the New Year


Happy New Year!

The southern tradition of cooking black-eyed peas and greens for luck and prosperity dates back to the Civil War era. The last few years, I have been enjoying following this tradition by trying a new recipe to cook black-eyed peas and greens.

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Following a west meets east, I decided to use a blend of 9 different spices in this year’s recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup dry black-eyed peas
2-3 celery stalks, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut
1 onion, chopped
4 Roma tomatoes
1/2 bunch kale chopped
1 jalapeno, cut
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 in piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 anise star
1 small cinnamon stick
5 cloves
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
2-3 cardamon seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
dash of turmeric
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
cilantro to garnish
juice of lemon

Soak black-eyed peas for 12-16 hours. Rinse and cover with twice the amount of water and cook in a pressure cooker. If you skip this step, you just need to simmer for longer time period later on.

In a large pan, add coconut oil and dry spices and lightly cook for a minute. Add ginger, garlic, jalapeno and onion and continue to cook till the onion becomes translucent. Add carrots and celery and fry for a minute.

Blend tomatoes in a blender and add the juices to the pan. Add two cups water and bring to a boil. Add cooked black-eyed peas and continue to cook on medium low for about 30 minutes.

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Add kale and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes. Drizzle some lemon juice and garnish with cilantro and serve warm with rice or bread.

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