Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Indian skillet black-eyed peas

indian skillet black-eyed peas with spinach and tomatoes, adapted from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics
I bought a jar of tamarind concentrate a few months ago after hearing Lynne rave about it on The Splendid Table. Lynne says that it can basically be used like barbecue sauce, but I'm hesitant because it's so different (it's very sour, with a hint of sweetness). I've used it once in a recipe and added it to yogurt several times for something different, but I still have my eye out for new ways to incorporate it into a recipe. I was excited to find just such a thing in the cookbook of the month.

Indian skillet black-eyed peas (adapted from "Moosewood Restaurant New Classics")

1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp coriander
pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
1 1/2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (or 1 can)
1 small tomato, chopped
1 cup spinach, chopped

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, and then add garlic and let cook for an additional minute. Stir in ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, and salt. Then add water, tamarind, and peas, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 min. Stir in the tomatoes and spinach and cook just until spinach wilts (about a minute). Serves 2.

I loved this and wish that I hadn't cut the original recipe in half. I rarely eat black-eyed peas, but I love them and should try to find more ways to work them into my life. The spices were great in this dish - they gave it great flavor without being overpowering. But, I have to admit that it was weird cooking Indian food without using curry powder, garam masala, or turmeric. I also loved the hint of sourness that the tamarind provided. If you don't like any spice, reduce (or completely leave out) the cayenne because it definitely gave it a good kick. It was perfect for my taste, though, and I don't think I'll change a single thing the next time I make this.

I'm excited to have another use for my tamarind! I would love to hear more ideas if anyone has them.

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