Black-eyed peas are nutrition powerhouses. They are also one of the few larger legumes that can be easily cooked without soaking if you forget to do so, making them a really useful addition to the pantry.
1. Drain and rinse the peas. Put into a saucepan with 2-3 dried shiitake mushrooms and add water to just cover. Bring to a boil and cook covered until just tender, about 20-30 minutes. Add ½ tsp salt once they are tender. Turn off the heat, cover, and set the peas aside to steam in their broth.
2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a wide sauté pan or wok. Add the cumin and cinnamon stick. Cook until the cumin starts to darken. Add the garlic. Cook stirring until it starts to color, about 2 minutes. Add the onions, and turn the heat down to medium and cook until they begin to caramelize. Do not let them burn.
3. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring until they wilt and loose their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Cook stirring for 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes have lost some of their juices and have turned an orangey-red.
4. While the tomato is cooking down, drain the black-eyed peas, reserving the broth. Slice the dried shiitakes. Add the cooked black-eyed peas, sliced shiitakes, and ½ cup of the reserved broth or water to the tomatoes. Cook until the peas are soft, but not falling apart, about 5 -10 minutes, adding more broth if needed. The curry should be thick.
5. Taste for salt. Add the cilantro, mix and cover. Cook for a minute, then turn off the heat and leave to steam for 5 minutes. Serve with Basic Brown Rice.
Ann's Tips and Tricks
If you cannot or forgot to soak the peas overnight, just wash them and follow step one, but put them in a pan with twice their volume of water and cook covered with the dried mushrooms until they are just tender, about 40-50 minutes.
If using canned black-eyed peas, the peas should be drained and rinsed. Discard the liquid from the can.
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