Black-eye beans

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Black Eye Beans or Black Eye Peas

Black-Eye Beans or Black-Eye Peas or Cow Pea are a type of pea, which are essential in Hoppin' John, Creole food, but also found in Indian cuisine. As such, they are used in curries or as a vegetable.

They come in a variety of colours from maroon through to red, brown, black, pink or white. They are used whole, split or ground to flour.

Black-eye Beans have an interesting savoury flavour.

Prep times are fairly quick if presoaked:

Soak 350g overnight in water. Drain Black-Eye Beans and place in saucepan. Cover with about 1 litre of water. Bring to the boil, simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes until tender.


Beans last for a good length of time, but do toughen with age, so buy in smallish quantities. If you buy in bulk, check for dirt and insects as these are not uncommon and should be anticipated. Store somewhere dark and cool, and free from potential insect contamination. Tins are a godsend to any cook as they are quick to prepare and long lasting.

Further reading

  • Christian, G. (2005) Real Flavours: the handbook of gourmet & deli ingredients, Grub Street. ISBN 1904943209.
  • Stobart, T. (1981) The Cook's Encyclopedia: ingredients & processes, Harper & Row. ISBN 0060141271.