Black-Eyed Pea Hummus

Inspired by Michael W. Twitty’s transformative book The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South, this hummus is a nod to my continued journey of racism awareness. History moved the somewhat lowly black-eyed pea from a humble mainstay, or animal feed, to a symbol of good luck on New Year’s, due to its use as a celebratory food on the anniversary of Emancipation. There are many versions of how to ensure luck from this highly nutritious pea (technically a bean).  

I realize while working on recipes, that making what you have at hand has been the base for almost all recipes until the 20th century.  Granted, some people had far more at hand than others.  However, not able to quickly source a fragile or rare ingredient changes the parameters of what we can create.  So, creating from what is on hand is critical to how I cook. 

Due to the pandemic, most of us will be home this year for New Year’s.  Make a batch of hummus, and take some some to your family members and friends.  Perhaps if we share lots of black-eyed peas this year, we will also share in the realized good fortune of 2021.  


3 garlic cloves

500ml black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed 

(two 540 ml tins, or from 450 grams dried – cooking method)

6 T olive oil

3 T prepared tahini

1 lemon (use 3 T juice and 2 t lemon zest – reserve remainders for another use)

1 ½ t pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika)

1 t kosher salt

½ t black pepper

¼ t dried chilies


In a processor:

Pulse garlic until finely chopped.

Add in the black-eyed peas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice & zest, pimentón, salt, pepper, and dried chilies.

Continue processing until smooth.  

To serve: spoon into a small serving dish, and drizzle with olive oil, and scatter with some lemon zest and a pinch or two of pimentón.  Serve with plain crackers or crudités.  

Hummus is also great as a sandwich spread, or on toast.

Refrigerate remainder in a closed container in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Printable Version

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