Category Archives: Black-Eyed Peas

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Some Much-Needed Luck for 2021

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Today I offer you a different twist on a must-have traditional dish for January 1: Curried Black-Eyed Peas. In the Southern United States, to eat black-eyed peas with greens on New Year’s Day is considered a culinary talisman to bring good luck and good fortune in the coming year. Sadly, the dish is thought to have been brought to the US from West Africa through the slave trade, but it survives today as a symbol of hoped-for fortune and abundance to come—and because it’s delicious.

Although my previous black-eyed pea recipes reflect Southern cooking, I decided to add a new twist to this celebratory dish and offer you a version that reflects traditional Ayurvedic cooking through a mélange of spices. You can decide whether the dish packs a hot punch or is simply flavorful with the artful use of spices.

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Auspicious New Beginnings with Black-Eyed Peas!

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Ask any Southerner how to start the new year in the most auspicious way, and they won’t even blink before naming a bowl of Hoppin’ John or some other version of peas and greens—like this vegetarian Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collards! Serving such a dish on New Year’s Day is thought to bring good luck because long ago black-eyed peas reminded someone of coins. The greens are said to bring prosperity because greens are associated with green cash. If you enjoy food history, you can read more about this legend at Southern Living  and Epicurious.

My Black-Eyed Pea Soup is filling because of the generous proportion of peas, and it is made even more satisfying by the addition of butternut squash, a favorite winter vegetable. If you serve this soup over rice, like a traditional Hoppin’ John, you will need little (if anything!) else at your New Year’s Day table.

How can you make your New Year’s Day even more auspicious?

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