Black Eye Beans
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Black Eye Beans have a distinct savoury flavour with a 'dry' but creamy texture and are a staple base for many Indian curries.
In India, black-eyed peas is called Lobia or Rongi in Northern India and is cooked as daal, served with boiled rice. In Kannada a south Indian language it is also called Alsande Kalu, and is popularly used in preparation of huli, a type curry. In Maharashtra it is called Chawli (pronunced chau-lee) and is made into a curry viz. Chawli Amti (also called Chawli Usal)
In West Africa and the Caribbean, a traditional dish called akara is made of mashed black-eyed peas to which is added salt, onions and/or peppers. The mixture is then fried.
In Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, South America it is the most popular type of peas cooked with rice. It is also cooked as a snack or appetizer on its own. New Year's Eve(referred to as Old Years Night in Guyana and Surinam), families cook a traditional dish called cook-up rice. The dish comprises rice, black-eyed peas, and other peas and a variety of meats cooked in coconut milk and seasonings. According to tradition, cook-up rice should be the first thing consumed in the New Year for good luck. Cook-up rice is also made as an everyday dish.
With their characteristic black spot, or "eye," on cream-colored skin, black-eyed peas are among the most recognizable legumes. Also known as black-eye Susans or cowpeas, they came to the Americas via slave traders from Africa. Traditionally enjoyed in the form of Hoppin' John- (a mixture of black-eyed beans, bacon and white rice, traditionally eaten on New Year's Day).
These legumes contain a wealth of nutrients and are a delicious addition anytime of the year. Like most beans, black-eyed peas are loaded with vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate and iron. With 11 grams of fiber per one-cup (200-calorie) serving, black-eyed peas certainly give you your money's worth in terms of nutrition, if not future prosperity!
How to cook black-eyed peas: Soaking is not essential for black-eyed peas, but cooking time can be shortened if they get a quick soak in hot water (as opposed to a longer one in cold water, like other beans). Place dried peas in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove pot from heat and allow to stand for 60-90 minutes. Drain water and replace with fresh, cold water for cooking - or if you skipped the hot-soaking step, just rinse and add cold water. Place on stove and bring to a boil in a pot with a lid. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, tilting the lid slightly to allow steam to escape, and leave to cook for up to an hour, or until tender.
They make a good addition to soups, stews and salads and are also a healthy side dish.
One of the main health benefits of black-eyed peas is their high fiber content. A 1/2 cup of dry black-eyed peas that are cooked have 5.6 g of fiber, while a 1/2 cup of canned black-eyed peas contains 4 g. These amounts will vary among brands of black-eyed peas. Fiber is a nutrient that helps regulate your digestive system, and increasing your intake could help alleviate constipation and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Fiber also helps keep your cholesterol levels healthy by preventing cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream, which reduces your risk of developing heart disease. Additionally, high-fiber foods keep you feeling full, since they are digested slowly -- which is important for weight control
Other benefits include: Potassium, Low in Fat and Calories, Protein, Iron