I wish all my readers and friends a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Hope 2015 brings you all the happiness you are looking forward to. A few years ago I started tradition of eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day. It is based on superstition that eating black-eyed peas (the primary ingredient of Hoppin’ John) is considered lucky if eaten on New Year’s Day along with collard greens. The act of eating two is supposed to ensure prosperity. The collards represent greenbacks and the black-eyed peas coins. Or so they say.
Hoppin’ John is basically black eyed peas stew made with black eyed peas, onion and bacon and rice. Traditional way of making is to cook everything in a single pot. If you want to know more about hopping john read from here. Even though the origin of this recipe is not clearly known, Hoppin’ John was originally a Low Country food before spreading to the entire population of the South. I found the traditional recipe a bit bland maybe because of my Indian roots, which always require some spices. Yes we Indians eat lot of lentils and beans.
So it is really natural for me to make black-eyed peas for one more day, if it brings luck why wait. The dried peas were soaked overnight, and I used pressure cooker to cook the peas. I also added spices and tomato to enhance the flavor and taste. Yes you may say it looks like curry, because of all the spices. Also I like to cook rice separately and serve together, that is modern version of Hoppin’ john.
You may also find, ginger and garlic in my hoppin’ john as it known to reduce the gas problems while having beans, which you can skip it. Also you can dial a bit on amount of heat to make it comfortable to your taste. Here comes most flavorful and tasty Hoppin’ John recipe. You can also make this recipe in slow cooker.