Wonderful Recipes on How to Cook Dried Black-eyed Peas

How to Cook Dried Black-eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas are widely cultivated and eaten all over the world, and are especially popular in the southern United States. Contrary to their name, they are actually beans, and not peas. Here are some wonderful recipes on how to cook them.
Black-eyed peas are pale yellowish-brown beans with a characteristic black mark, from which they derive their name. These beans are traditionally known as a symbol of good luck. These beans are very healthy, and pack in a punch of nutrients like folic acid, proteins, vitamin A, and calcium. They are low in fat and sodium and contain zero cholesterol. Let us learn some popular recipes that include black-eyed peas.
Recipe for Hoppin' John
Hoppin' John, a traditional and popular recipe relished on New Year's Day in the southern states of United States, is prepared using these beans. Though the recipe has several regional variations, the basic ingredients used are rice and black-eyed peas.
Hoppin john
Ingredients:

♨ Dried black-eyed peas, 1 pound
♨ Chicken or beef stock, 2 cups
♨ Ham hock, 1 pound
♨ Long-grain rice (uncooked), 1 cup
♨ Onion (Finely chopped, medium-sized), 1
♨ Green pepper (Finely chopped), 1
♨ Celery stalks (Diced), 2
♨ Cloves of garlic (Finely chopped), 4
♨ Thyme, 1 tsp.
♨ Cumin powder, 1 tsp.
♨ Crushed cayenne pepper, 2 tsp.
♨ Diced tomatoes, 1 can
♨ Oil
♨ Salt, as per taste
Preparation:
  • The evening prior to cooking Hoppin' John, soak the black-eyed peas in water and leave them overnight. This will soften them and they will be easier to cook. It is suggested that you discard the water used for soaking the beans. If you need to add water to cook the beans, use fresh and clean water.
  • In a large cooking pot, add oil and cook the ham hock till it is well seared from all sides. Drain off any excess fat.
  • Add the garlic, onion, green pepper, celery stalks, and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the stock, add the beans, canned tomato, thyme, cumin powder, and cayenne pepper. Cover the pot and let the mixture cook on low heat for 30-45 minutes, or longer till the beans are cooked thoroughly. Check to see if the beans have cooked properly by piercing them with a fork. Stir every few minutes. If the mixture runs dry, add water or stock.
  • In the meanwhile, cook the rice as per the instructions on the packet. Make sure you add the right quantity of water when you boil the rice, so that the grains don't stick to each other. The rice should turn out to be fluffy.
  • When the ham hock and beans mixture is done, pour it over the rice in a big serving bowl. Mix well. Enjoy!
This is by far one of the most popular recipes involving black-eyed peas. These beans are versatile, and can also be used to make side dishes like soups and salads. Let us now learn how to make a quick and nutritious salad using black-eyed peas.
Recipe for Black-eyed Peas Salad
Black eyed pea salad
Ingredients:

♨ Dried black-eyed peas, 1 pound
♨ Cucumbers (Peeled and diced, medium-sized), 2
♨ Red bell pepper (Diced), 1
♨ Tomatoes (Diced), 2
♨ Oregano, ½ tsp.
♨ Chopped black olives, a handful
♨ Lemon juice, 2 tsp.
♨ Extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp.
♨ Salt, as per taste
♨ Black pepper powder, as per taste
Preparation:
  • A day before you make the salad, soak the black-eyed peas in water overnight.
  • In a large pot, cook the soaked beans, uncovered, with enough water (use clean water for cooking) for at least 30 minutes. Check if they are cooked through and tender by piercing one with a fork. Drain the water.
  • In a separate bowl, add the olive oil, pepper powder, salt, and oregano and whisk everything well together. Add the diced cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and olives. Mix well.
  • Once the black-eyed peas have cooled down mix them well with the above mixture, and add salt and other seasonings if required. Refrigerate the salad for 10 minutes, or serve it at room temperature.
Tip: You can add veggies of your choice to the above salad, like artichokes, mustard or collard greens, chunks of tofu, crumbled feta cheese, or pieces of grilled chicken to make the salad appealing.
Recipes involving black-eyed peas are easy to make, and since these beans do not have an individual taste of their own, they can be added to any main dish and can even replace other kinds of beans. So if you are looking forward to including them in your diet henceforth, refer to recipe books which specialize in cuisine of the southern United States, where you are sure to come across several mouth-watering black-eyed peas recipes.