Ever since my awesome friends Erik and Kelly turned me on to Moosewood Restaurant's New Classics cookbook I have been cooking from it compulsively. Every single recipe, except for one bland potato/pasta/pesto dish, has been a showstopper. This recipe for spiced black-eyed peas is one of my favorites.
Like most fun recipes, this one has a couple of secret ingredients: tamarind paste, which is pretty easy to find in a Whole Foods/co-op/ethnic grocery, and ground cardamom. It's definitely a little more effort to buy cardamom pods, pound them open, fish out the flavor crystals, and grind them by hand, but it smells and tastes amazing. You know that moment when you throw a bunch of spices into a pan of hot oil and onion and garlic? This recipe dials that moment up to 10.
I really went overboard with my favorite spices, easily doubling the amount of fresh ginger and cardamom. Any way you make it, this recipe has an amazing flavor profile and is one of the most satisfying bean dishes I've ever made. Score another one for Moosewood!
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 c chopped onions
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp tamarind concentrate, dissolved in 1 c warm water
- 3 c cooked black-eyed peas (equal to two 16 oz cans, rinsed and drained)
- 1/2 c chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2 c rinsed and chopped fresh spinach
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or nonreactive saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and saute on medium-high heat until the onions are soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add the ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, and salt and mix well. Stir in the water and tamarind and black eyed peas, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and spinach and cook just until the spinach wilts, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.