In Ghana a popular black eyed pea stew recipe is Red Red. I first had it while visiting friends in Accra. I liked it so much I ordered it again while we were at One Africa in Elmina.
Red Red is often served with fried plantains which may be used to scoop up mouthfuls of the stew. I coated my plantains in oil and baked them. I also served mine with brown rice.
Red Palm oil is commonly used in Ghanaian recipes. Like coconut oil it is solid at room temperature. It adds a distinctive flavor to dishes.
Here is my version of Red Red.
- 3 tbsp palm oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 inch ginger, minced or grated
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes soaked for 30 minutes in water (save the water)
- 2-3 plum or roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 vegan bouillon cube (optional)
- 1 package black eye peas rinsed and soaked overnight or using the quick soak method (see below)
- 3-4 cups water or vegetable broth.
- 1 scotch bonnet or other fresh or dried hot chili pepper
- 1 large piece kelp seaweed (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
Soak your black eye peas overnight or use the quick soak method: Rinse peas and add to pot. Cover with water and bring to boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let soak for one hour. Drain peas and proceed with recipe.
Heat up the palm oil in a stew pot and fry the onions until wilted. Add the garlic, ginger and stir. Let simmer for a few minutes.
Place the sun-dried tomatoes and the soak water in the blender and blend to create a paste/sauce like consistency. Add more water if needed. I don’t like using canned tomato sauce so this is my substitute. You could also use more fresh tomatoes instead.
Add sun-dried tomato paste and the chopped tomatoes and bullion cube to the pot stir and let simmer 2-3 minutes.
Add the beans, water (or broth) and kelp seaweed. Add the hot pepper. Keep it whole to add the flavor with out adding to much heat, or chop pepper for a spicier dish.
Cover and simmer until peas are soft but not mushy. The stew should not be watery. Uncover and let it cook down to thicken if necessary.
Remove the kelp and stir in salt before serving.