Posted by: lornasass | December 21, 2009


Last-Minute Black-Eyed Pea Chili

Black-eyed peas are often served at New Year’s for good luck, usually in a rice-and-bean combo called Hoppin’ John.  Here’s a nice alternative:  a quick-cooking chili, good to serve over brown or white rice or a mound of quinoa.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

2 cups coarsely chopped onion

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup diced green bell pepper

2 1/4 cups dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed

4 cups boiling water

2 to 3 tablespoons mild chili powder

2 garlic cloves, pushed through a press

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Mild or hot salsa to taste

Salt to taste

Heat oil in pressure cooker. Cook the garlic over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until lightly browned. Add the cumin seeds and continue stirring for about 5 more seconds. Add the onions, oregano, cinnamon, green bell pepper, black-eyed peas, water (stand back to avoid sputtering oil) and 2 tablespoons of chili powder. Taste the liquid and add more chili powder if the chili flavor isn’t fairly intense.

Lock the lid in place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook 11 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally.

Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape. If the black-eyed peas are not tender, replace (but do not lock) the lid and simmer until they are done. If the mixture is too soupy, puree about a cupful of the peas and stir the puree back into the chili. (Or use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup.)

Stir in the garlic and salsa to taste (if using) and salt. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the beans to pick up some of the salsa flavor. Stir in the cilantro just before serving.


  1. hi, i tried this recipe and added some zucchini and yellow squash. i cooked it for 11 minutes on medium low heat, and when it was done, the vegetables had virtually disintegrated. i loved the flavor, but next time i will try cooking the peas, onions, garlic, and spices first, then adding the vegetables in a little later. thanks!

    • Perfect plan. When adding the fresh veggies, which cook so much more quickly than dried beans, I suggest you don’t bring them back up to pressure to avoid overcooking. Just dice them and add; cook covered over medium heat until done. It’s nice to have this fresh finish.

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