This is a wonderful dish of beans with tomatoes and a touch of chile and curry. I add some pork to it, too, which is not traditional. Use red palm oil if you can, because it is one of the signature ingredients; if you can't find it, substitutions are above.
1 1/2cupcowpeas of any kind (black-eyed peas are the most common)
1/4cupred palm oil, or substitute(see above)
1red onion, chopped
A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, minced
1/4 poundsmoked pork, chopped(or ham)
1 to 3teaspoonscayenne
4 to 6 plum tomatoes, chopped
1cuptomato puree or crushed tomatoes
Salt and black pepper to taste
Cook the cowpeas in plain water until they are tender. Add a big pinch of salt, cover the pot and remove it from the heat. Set aside for now.
In a medium pot, heat the palm oil over medium heat. When it's hot, saute the onions for about 3 minutes, then add the Scotch bonnet and the chopped, smoked pork. Saute for another minute or three. Stir in the cayenne and the curry powder, then the chopped fresh tomatoes.
Add the remaining ingredients and the cowpeas. Remove the cowpeas from their water with a slotted spoon. It's OK if some cooking water gets into the pot. Stir well to combine and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with fried plantains or simple white rice.
NOTE: If you are using canned black-eyed peas, just drain them in a colander and rinse well, and add them to the stew as directed above.