Greek Vegetarian Black-Eyed Peas Stew (one-pot)
Even though the winter is still here, it’s getting into an end soon. There are a few days with sunshine lately, that give us hope that the spring won’t be very late this year. This Saturday we managed to take a long walk under the sun, in the beachfront of our favorite Chalkida, the main city of the island that we live on. We missed such sunshiny days!
During spring, we prefer to eat a bit healthier in comparison to the winter months. We do have days that we enjoy comfort food, but meatless and lighter plates are more often present on the table.
In order to move to a more balanced diet, one has to import to one’s everyday eating routine more legumes, salads and vegetables.
After all, we have to confess that during the Holiday season we ate more than our fair share. Thus, we had to change our eating habits and go back to a healthier, more nutritious diet.
Since we are huge fans of the legumes (check out these recipes: lentil soup (Fakes), white bean soup (fasolada), split peas with sausage and so forth) we thought it’s going to be a great idea to use them and share with you a recipe for a healthy, vegetarian dish that will help you cleanse your body.
We wanted to share a recipe that would be hearty, comforting and definitely easy to make, so one-pot is the way to go. Because after all, time is of the essence, especially on busy weekdays.
This dish is part of a large family of vegetable dishes called ladera / lathera, literally meaning “oily”. The star of any such dish is always some type of vegetable or legume. People always enjoy them with a lot of fresh crusty bread, to soak up this delicious olive oil-tomato gravy and which has concentrated all the flavors of the vegetables (and the spices).
Other examples of ladera dishes are: green beans (fasolakia) dishes, spinach and rice (spanakorizo), leeks and rice (prasorizo), peas (arakas), briam, tomatoes and peppers stuffed with rice (gemista) and okra (bamies/mpamies). Oh, and a few years back we also made a fusion Greek-Indian dish of the same family you may want to check out.
The ladera are almost always served with a slice of feta cheese (drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with pepper or dry oregano) and tons of fresh bread. The combination is amazing!
We already had a recipe for black-eyed peas on the blog, which is quite popular and has already managed to turn many people into fans of this humble legume.
However, since the weather is still cold, a warmer stew seemed more appropriate. Therefore, we wanted to share this recipe, which we make for years, but never took the opportunity to measure and write down the ingredients. We are usually eyeballing them, and often make a few changes to spice it up or even to produce a completely different flavorful result.
For instance, we have tried this recipe with spices like smoked paprika, we have tried to add roasted sweet red peppers, we even added a little adobo or bbq sauce in the pot at the end of cooking.Of course, we will share the traditional recipe here, which is a version with simple, healthy ingredients: the black-eyed peas, the olive oil, the tomatoes, the dill and the spices. They will be sautéed first and then slowly simmered until a thick and delicious stew is formed leaving nothing but a flavorful oily gravy at the end. At this point, we add a tad of honey, but if you want the recipe purely vegan, then simply add agave syrup instead. The result is equally delicious.
A recipe for any occasion
This recipe is perfect for many reasons (besides being delicious of course!). It’s a recipe that you can make ahead and enjoy on the next day. So if you’re cooking on a Sunday for the week, you may prepare this to enjoy on your meatless Monday. You can also double the ingredients and this will last for 2 days, easily.
Moreover, this is a healthy dish that you and your family can enjoy, while incorporating plant-based protein into your diet as well as anti-oxidants from the olive oil and the tomatoes! Plus, this is a hearty, filling dish that’s also very affordable. Just make sure to use your bread to soak up the delicious sauce in your plate; it’s not to be missed!
As mentioned before, this is of course also very versatile. There are countless variations you can make with this recipe. Try adding various peppers; carrots; celery or parsley (instead of dill). Try different spices, like paprika, or a tad of garam masala. Try refrying and adding it in tacos and burritos, with Greek yogurt and shredded cheese, for a Greek-Mexican delicacy! There are so many things you can try, and we’d love to hear how you changed and used this recipe in your own household!
So let’s see how to prepare this easy, one-pot dish!
- 250g (9oz/0.5lb) dried black-eyed peas
- 500ml (2 cups), grated tomato
- 1250ml (5 cups), warm water
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 40g (2 cups / ½ bunch) dill, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
- 1 vegetable bouillon (optional but highly recommended)
- 1 (medium sized) onion, finely chopped
- 180 ml (2/3 cups), extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Rinse the black-eyed peas (pic.1)
In a medium size pot add the olive oil and the onion (pic.2) and sautee on medium heat, until the onions are translucent. Add the black eyed peas and stir (pic.3).
Add the garlic (pic.4), stir and then add the spices (pic.5)
Add the grated tomatoes (pic.6), the tomato paste and stir (pic.7)
Then add the vegetable bouillon (pic.8), the hot water (pic.9) and stir.
Let it simmer on medium-low heat (pic.10) for 30 minutes. Add the dill (pic.11) stir and cook for another 30-35 minutes.
Towards the end of the cooking time, the stew needs constant stirring and checking for the water. You need a thick stew as a result.
Turn off the heat and add the honey (pic.12). Stir one last time.
Set aside for a few minutes and serve with feta cheese and fresh crusty bread. Kali Oreksi!
1. If you are vegan than you can omit the honey and replace it with brown sugar or agave syrup.
2. This dish makes for an excellent main if you are vegan or vegetarian or you’re fasting. The black-eyed peas are an amazing protein source.
3. You can make this stew a day ahead, reheat and serve it.
4. You can also serve the black-eyed peas stew with a dollop of Greek yogurt on the side and naan for a more Indian-style serving.
5. Try adding various peppers; carrots; celery or parsley (instead of dill) or different spices, like paprika, or a tad of garam masala.
6. You can also refry these black-eyed peas and add them in tacos and burritos, with Greek yogurt and shredded cheese, for a Greek-Mexican delicacy!