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Dinner Tonight: Cinnamon-Flavored Black-Eyed Peas

"Each bite is layered and intense."

Last time I ate black-eyed peas, I was nestled up to the bar at Ed Mitchell's barbecue joint, The Pit, in Raleigh, North Carolina. They looked familiar and comforting, swimming in a porky broth that paired nicely with the incredible chopped pork.

I'm probably not alone in pairing black-eyed peas with Southern cuisine, but did you know they are just as at home in Indian cuisine, too? This recipe from Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries is about as good of an introduction as you can find.

One great thing about black-eyed peas: they cook quickly. It only takes around 35 to 45 minutes to cook them from scratch (and less if you're using a pressure cooker). That will give you time to focus on flavoring these guys, which Iyer takes on with abandon.

This is not a mild dish. Red onions are cooked in oil until deep-red and caramelized, before being blended up with fresh garlic. Cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and cardamom also make an appearance along with turmeric and a healthy pinch of cayenne. Each bite is layered and intense. When paired with some rice, this makes an excellent vegetarian meal.

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