Black-Eyed Pea Stew


In many cultures, Sunday dinner is a staple experience characterized by “family meals.” This stew is an example of one of those meals, which can bring together rich flavor profiles and our full familial experience.

Chef’s note: This recipe is completely plant-based, and merges the rich flavors of Black South African cuisine with a Black American staple, black-eyed peas, for a delicious and flavorful dish that’s easy to cook, especially when prepared in a potjie. As the weather turns colder, this makes for a delicious warming dish.


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 lb. dried black eyed peas
  • 4 -6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 ripe tomatoes-on-the-vine, stem removed, diced in four
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 red onion, peeled and sliced in 4 sections
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 jalapeño, 1 sliced and seeded, 1 whole
  • 1 can (400 ml) coconut cream
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Malay curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cardamom


This recipe can be prepared in a Dutch oven, a cast-iron pot with a lid, or potjie. Preheat the oven to 350 ̊. In a cast-iron pot or potjie. Note: If using a Dutch oven, heat ingredients in a pot first. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, add one-quarter of the red onion, 3 cloves of garlic and the whole jalapeño and simmer on low for 3 -5 minutes.

Add 2 cups of broth and 2 cups of water to the mix and bring to a boil, approximately 15 -20 minutes. Rinse black-eyed peas and remove excess articles.

Into Dutch oven, add black-eyed peas, 1 cup of vegetable broth (black-eyed peas should be covered). Add remaining onion, garlic cloves, jalapeño, bay leaves, and 1 tomato. Add 1/2 tbsp of cumin, 1 tsp of paprika, 1/2 tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp of Malay curry powder, 1/2 tsp of cardamom, and 1 cup of coconut cream to the black-eyed peas. Cover and place Dutch oven or cast iron pot in the oven. Peas should cook for approximately 1 hour.

After an hour, the black-eyed peas should be tender. There should still be liquid in the pot. Remove from oven and add broth and cream at a 1/3 c + 1/4 c ratio, then add sliced carrots, remaining tomatoes, and additional spices. Return dish to fire oroven and check peas every 30 minutes for no more than an additional 1.5 hours, depending on your preference of tenderness of the peas. Peas and carrots should become tender with a rich flavor. Add additional broth and cream as necessary.

This dish can be eaten alone, with rice, or bread, or enhanced with seasonal ingredients.

Credit: T. Courtney Williams

Facilitator, historian, advocate, and food lover T. Courtney Williams fell in love with food and storytelling through food at a young age, fostered by her great-grandmother. She’s brought her love for creating conscious but culturally adapted food to children, adolescent mothers, professionals, and families through food-love-life classes, social responsibility events, and private preparation. IG: @thefood__court Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Google+