Black eyed peas

Traditionally in Spain legumes are cooked to be a main dish; containing things like chorizo, black pudding, clams or shrimp, they don’t need anything else than a piece of good bread to scrape the dish.

However, in Panama (and I guess that in other countries of Latin America as well) legumes are usually a side dish for the everlasting rice and the delicious meats that we eat. That’s why these recipes are quite simple and don’t have an overpowering flavor.


  • 500 g black eyed peas (aka Cornille)
  • Water, enough to cover the beans
  • 1 seedless green pepper, in half
  • 1 onion, in half
  • 5 garlic cloves, 4 crushed
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Fresh chopped coriander to taste
  • ¾ tsp. dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Cumin to taste (optional)
  • ½ cup dry red wine


Wash the beans, cover with water and let them soak overnight or at least 6 hours.

Bring the peas to a boil over high/ medium heat. Add half green pepper, half onion and one garlic clove.  Cover the pan, lower the heat and cook for 45 to 60 minutes or until soft.

Meanwhile, chop very finely the other halves of pepper and onion; we are going to use these to make the sofrito for the beans. In a big skillet, heat olive oil, add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add green pepper and coriander, cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

When the beans are tender, pour the sofrito into the peas and add the bay leave, oregano, salt, cumin (optional) and dry red wine and stir a bit.

Cover the pan again and cook over low heat from 30 to 45 more minutes. Remove the bay leaf and sprinkle some fresh coriander (optional).

Serve hot over white rice.


Adapted from Estefan kitchen by Emilio & Gloria Estefan


40 thoughts on “Black eyed peas

  1. Thank you so much for this! I LOVE black eye peas, but it is tradition here to cook them for New Years Day. The cajuns think that if you eat black eye peas on New Years you will have good luck for the rest of the year. We always have them on that day, but for some reason we don’t cook them throughout the year. I will have to change that and try this little twist!!

    1. Hi! Yes, I read about it, is very interesting to see how our traditions have some similarities, here in Europe I think is lentils for good luck
      Thanks for your comment 🙂

  2. Great pictures – I saw lots of broad beans in the Boqueria this morning – so much earlier than in England – then I nearly fell in love with a charming, smiling Catalan lady who sold me 2 pork bellies. I’ve got the pork cooked now, for the exhibition tomorrow, but I also have a cup of pork stock which would be amazing with a recipe similar to yours 😉

    1. Hola MD!
      How was it? For us, Real Madrid fans, was a wonderful night 😉
      I’m looking forward to read all about the exhibition. Oh! But be careful with the nice Catalan ladies… 😉

      1. The exhibition was brilliant, but I spent most of the time in the kitchen. Madrid must have been very happy – we did our best to cheer up the Barcelona fans with a little more wine and roast beef tapas.

  3. ¡Ha! – I bought some of these the other week in Mercadona and wasn´t really sure what to do with them – this looks wonderful and we love dishes like this. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  4. I love black eyes beans. One of my favourite comfort foods over hot white rice. Yummm… Could have a gigantic bowlful of what you’ve posted here. Delicious 🙂

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