Moroccan black-eyed peas

Moroccan black eyed peas salad

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This recipe of Moroccan black eyed peas is a winter favourite in the Fez area where these pulses are commonly called foul gnawa.

I’m not sure people still make it as regularly as before but where I am I surely carry the tradition.

Nowadays, I just buy the tinned black eyed peas when I really don’t have time. However, it hardly tastes like when you start the process from presoaking to cooking them.

Moroccan black-eyed peas

Moroccan black-eyed peas. Credit @Nada Kiffa

Moroccan black-eyed peas

  • 1 onion ( medium-size, chopped finely)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves (grated)
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 4 olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 chili (or harissa, optional)
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika (ground)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • sa;t (to taste)
  1. Place a small pressure cooker or a heavy pot over medium heat, add the oil, the chopped onions and the spices and sauté for a few seconds.

  2. Wash and drain the black eyed peas.

  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the tomato paste. Add about 1 l of hot water the water and cover the pot (or close the pressure cooker).

  4. Cook for about 30 min with a pressure cooker or about 90 min with a regular pot. If you can, cook in a deep earthenware pot over charcoal until tender (about 4 hours) and you will be rewarded with the best black eyed pea comfort warm salad ever. Basically the pulses need to be reduced and tender, so you need to adjust the time of cooking and the liquid accordingly.

  5. When the black eyed peas are about tender, add the tomato paste and season to taste. Some add harissa and others add agriche (khlii sediments) or bits of khlii for even more yumminess..Cook a few more minutes to tenderness.

  6. Reduce and serve warm with a bit of harissa and an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

  • In Fez, foul gnawa or black eyed peas are cooked the same way we cook brown lentils for a warm starter. Pulses are always served at lunch time and never served for dinners (this is a rule in my family, exception applies for Harira soup).

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  • This is from my personal experience in relation to cooking pulses: across the world and depending on the brands, the same dried type of pulses might take longer (or less) in the cooking, even if the same type of cooking pot is used for the same recipe. I.e.: A freshly “dried” chickpea would take less to cook to tenderness than a year old dried chickpea, even if they were left to soak for the same time.

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