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Savory Black-Eyed Pea Griddle Cake


4 cups dry black-eyed peas

10-12 cups warm water

1 small sweet onion, diced

3 garlic cloves

1-2 serrano peppers, chopped

1 (2-inch) piece ginger, chopped

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds, toasted

¼ cup cane syrup or sorghum, divided

Salt and black pepper to taste

1/3 cup olive oil or cooking fat of choice


1. Soak black-eyed peas in 10 to 12 cups warm water for 2 hours. Then, drain peas, reserving 1 cup of soaking liquid.

2. In a large bowl, combine soaked peas with onion, garlic, peppers, ginger, cilantro, and cumin. In a blender or food processor, blend mixture in two or three batches, adding soaking liquid a little at a time as needed until it’s the consistency of cornbread batter. (If using a blender, be careful not to blend peas too fine or add too much liquid to speed up the process.) Fold in salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons cane syrup.

3. In a nonstick skillet or a griddle over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until it shimmers. Add dollops of about 1 ounce of batter to create silver dollar-sized griddle cakes and fry until crispy and golden brown on one side. Flip and finish cooking through, adding a few drops of oil as necessary. Repeat with remaining batter, heating additional oil between each batch. Drizzle hot griddle cakes with remaining cane syrup.

Notes: These are also delicious with chopped bacon or smoked sausage folded into the batter. For a tangier flavor, cover and set batter aside in a warm place for 4 to 6 hours (or refrigerate overnight) before cooking.

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