The black-eyed pea or black-eyed bean is a legume grown around the world for its medium-sized, edible bean. It is a subspecies of the cowpea, an Old World plant domesticated in Africa, and is sometimes simply called a cowpea.
The common commercial variety is called the California Blackeye; it is pale-colored with a prominent black spot. The American South has countless varieties, many of them heirloom, that vary in size from the small lady peas to very large ones. The color of the eye may be black, brown, red, pink, or green. All the peas are green when freshly shelled and brown or buff when dried. A popular variation of the black-eyed pea is the purple hull pea; it is usually green with a prominent purple or pink spot. The currently accepted botanical name for the black-eyed pea is Vigna unguiculata subsp. unguiculata, although previously it was classified in the genus Phaseolus. Vigna unguiculata subsp. dekindtiana is the wild relative and Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis is the related asparagus bean. Other beans of somewhat similar appearance, such as the frijol ojo de cabra (goat's-eye bean) of northern Mexico, are sometimes incorrectly called black-eyed peas, and vice versa.
In Nigeria in West Africa and the Caribbean, a traditional dish called akara is made of mashed black-eyed peas to which is added salt, onions and/or peppers. The mixture is then fried. In Nigeria, there’s also a pudding made from it called ‘moin-moin’ where it is ground and mixed with seasoning as well as some plant proteins before it is steamed. This is served with various carbohydrate rich foods such as pap, rice or garri.
In Indonesia, black-eyed peas are called kacang tunggak or kacang tolo in the local language. They are commonly used in curry dishes such as sambal goreng, a kind of hot and spicy red curry dish, sayur brongkos, or sayur lodeh.
The bean is commonly used across India. In North India, black-eyed peas are called lobia or rongi and cooked like daal, served with boiled rice.The bean is commonly used across India. In North India, black-eyed peas are called lobia or rongi and cooked like daal, served with boiled rice. In Maharashtra, they are called chawli and made into a curry called chawli amti or chawli usal. In Karnataka they are called alsande kalu and used in the preparation of huli, a popular type of curry. In South Kanara district they are called as lathanay dha beeja and are cooked in spiced coconut paste to make a saucy curry or a dry coconut curry. In Tamil Nadu, they are called karamani or thattapayaru and used in various recipes, including being boiled and made into a salad-like sundal (often during the Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri festivals). In Andhra Pradesh they are known by the name 'alasandalu' and are used for variety of recipes most popularly for 'vadas'. In Kerala, they are a part of the Sadhya dish, Olan.
In Vietnam, black-eyed peas are used in a sweet dessert called chè đậu trắng (black-eyed peas and sticky rice with coconut milk).
In Cyprus (φρέσκο λουβί) and Turkey (börülce salatası), blanched black-eyed peas are eaten as salad with a dressing of olive oil, salt, lemon juice, onions and garlic.
In Portugal, black-eyed peas are served with boiled cod and potatoes, with tuna, and in salads.
"Hoppin' John", made of black-eyed peas or field peas, rice, and pork, is a traditional dish of parts of the Southern United States.
Texas caviar, another traditional dish in the American South, is made from black-eyed peas marinated in vinaigrette-style dressing and chopped garlic.Texas caviar, another traditional dish in the American South, is made from black-eyed peas marinated in vinaigrette-style dressing and chopped garlic.
In Brazil's northeastern state of Bahia, especially in the city of Salvador, black-eyed peas are used in a traditional street food of Nigerian origin called akara. The beans are peeled and mashed, and the resulting paste is made into balls and deep fried in dendê. Acarajé is typically served split in half and stuffed with vatapá, caruru, diced green and red tomatoes, fried sun-dried shrimp and homemade hot sauce.
In the northern part of In the northern part of Colombia, they are used to prepare a fritter called buñuelo. The beans are immersed in water for a few hours to loosen their skins and soften them. The skins are then removed either by hand or with the help of a manual grinder. Once the skins are removed, the bean is ground or blended, and eggs are added, which produces a soft mix. The mix is fried in hot oil. It makes a nutritious breakfast meal.
In Guyana, South America, and Trinidad and Tobago, it is one of the most popular type of beans cooked with rice, the main one being red kidney beans, also referred to as red beans. It is also cooked as a snack or appetizer on its own. On New Year's Eve (referred to as Old Year's Night in Guyana and Suriname), families cook a traditional dish called cook-up rice. The dish comprises rice, black-eyed peas, and other peas and a variety of meats cooked in coconut milk and seasonings. According to tradition, cook-up rice should be the first thing consumed in the New Year for good luck. Cook-up rice is also made as an everyday dish.