Moroccan black eyed peas salad

So now I am a mother of 2. I live on coffee and tea (chocolate too) and I look like a zombie with the belly of a cow. My baby boy (another boy, I'm now officially outnumbered in this house) is about 2 1/2 months and I think he's becoming a bit chatty. I get a lot of smiles and it sweeps away all the fatigue. A wonderful reward in the end..

The end of my pregnancy was quite hard and the baby came early, not premature though but he had to stay for 11 days in an intensive care unit.

I finally got to squeeze some time to start potty-training my other toddler who by the way, as you may guess, is going through a jealousy crisis because of our new bundle of joy.

I love these two monkeys so much that I'm just taking care of them back to back, no time to post anything in this dying blog. But now you know the reason why I went silent all this time.

We're in autumn over here and that means it's time for pulses, heating on, soups, hot teas around the clock and a lot of comfort food.

Whenever I will find time to write a few lines I'll surely do. New recipes might become rare but I'll do my best. It's always encouraging to read comments and engage with readers and honestly this is one of the things that make me come back and write more.

I thought I'd sneak a recipe of Moroccan black eyed peas as long as the baby is having a nap and the other one is busy colouring.

This warm winter salad is a favourite in Fez where my family comes from. At least it used to be. I don't really know what the new generation is up to with these old recipes. I hope they're still making this one at least.





Ingredients
Serves 4 to 6
Prep: 3 min - Cooking: 1 h (pressure cooker)
  • 1 cup of dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight
  • 1 medium-size onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 cube of bouillon, vegetables or chicken or beef 
  • 1 l of water (approximately)
  • 1 whole chili (optional)
  • 2 tbsps of chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp of sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper (white/black or mixed)
  • 3 to 4 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil





Preparation

Place a small pressure cooker or a heavy pot over medium heat, add the oil, the chopped onions and the spices and sauté for a few seconds.

Wash and drain the black eyed peas.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the tomato paste. Add about 1 l of hot water the water and cover the pot (or close the pressure cooker).

Cook for about 30 min with a pressure cooker or about 90 min with a regular pot. If you can, cook in a deep earthenware pot over charcoal until tender (about 4 hours) and you will be rewarded with the best black eyed pea comfort warm salad ever. Basically the pulses need to be reduced and tender, so you need to adjust the time of cooking and the liquid accordingly.

When the black eyed peas are about tender, add the tomato paste and season to taste. Some add harissa and others add agriche (khlii sediments) or bits of khlii for even more yumminess..Cook a few more minutes to tenderness.

Reduce and serve warm with a bit of harissa and an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Notes

1 - In Fez, foul gnawa or black eyed peas are cooked the same way we cook brown lentils for a warm starter.

2- Pulses are always served at lunch time and never served for dinners (this is a rule in my family, exception applies for Harira soup).

3- This is from my personal experience in relation to cooking pulses: across the world and depending on the brands, the same dried type of pulses might take longer (or less) in the cooking, even if the same type of cooking pot is used for the same recipe. A freshly "dried" chickpea would take less to cook to tenderness than a year old dried chickpea, even if they were left to soak for the same time.


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