Eating black-eyed peas has been a tradition to ring in the New Year for centuries. In fact, it was first recorded 2,500 years ago as a Syrian Jewish custom, and the Aramaic name for black-eyed peas (rubiya) also means "abundance." A couple millennia later the tradition made it from Africa to the Deep South, where a dish called Hoppin' Josh is said to help bring prosperity in the coming year. If you think your New Year could use a little extra good fortune, be sure to eat some black-eyed peas on December 31 or January 1. Here are four ways to enjoy the lucky legume.
If you're ever enjoyed chana masala (curried chickpeas) at an Indian restaurant, you might want to try your hand at making this dish at home. Made with black-eyed peas, onions, tomatoes, chilies, ginger, and plenty of spice, this will ensure that your fortunate future is never bland or boring. As an added plus, it's a healthy vegan option.
On New Year's Eve, stop by TEXAZ Grill for lunch or dinner to receive an auspicious gift. All patrons will receive a free side of black-eyed peas. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For reservations, call 602-248-7827.
Black-eyed peas are one of the side dishes regularly available at Mrs. White's, a traditional Southern restaurant located downtown. Enjoy it alongside favorites like smothered Southern fried chicken, pork chops, and pond-raised catfish. Mrs. White's Golden Rule Café will be open on New Year's Day from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
This traditional Southern recipe adds flavor to black-eyed peas with ham hocks, onion, crushed red pepper, and smoked cheddar cheese. It's easy to make at home: basically throw everything in a pot and bring to a boil. The rice is added halfway, and the cheese is sprinkled over the top at the end. This hearty down-home dish will help you ring in the New Year in a warm, comforting style.