2-3 cups dried cowpeas (black eyed peas) or similar
1 cup red palm oil (or vegetable oil)
1-2 onions, thinly sliced
2-3 ripe tomatoes, quartered
Cayenne pepper or red pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
Several ripe or near-ripe plantains
1-2 bouillon cubes
4 Cups Chopped Eggplant
(Optional) Small piece of smoked or dried fish
(Optional) One spoonful of shrimp powder
Clean the black-eyed peas in water in a large pot. Soak them in water for at least an hour or overnight. After soaking them, rub them together between your hands to remove the skins. Rinse to wash away the skins and any other debris. Drain them in a colander If you are using smoked or dried fish: remove the bones and skin, rinse and soak them in water, then dry them. If you are using dried shrimp: grind the shrimp (or obtain already ground or powdered shrimp).
Place the black-eyed peas in a large pot, fill the pot with enough water to just cover the peas. Bring to a slow boil; reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the peas are tender; thirty minutes to an hour. When cooked, the peas should be moist, but not standing in water.
While the peas are cooking: Heat the oil in a skillet. Fry the onions until slightly browned, then add the tomatoes, and fish and dried shrimp (if desired). Mash and stir the mixture to form a sauce.
Stir the onion-tomato mixture into the black-eyed peas. Add bouillon cubes (if you are not using fish or shrimp). Simmer for ten minutes. Add salt, black pepper, and cayenne or red pepper to taste.
While peas and sauce is simmering: Prepare fried plantains.
Serve peas and plantains side by side on a plate.
How to Prepare Fried Plantains:
Peel and thinly slice the plantains lengthwise.
Fill a skillet with 1 inch of Canola or vegetable oil. Preheat the skillet until hot, but not smoking.
Fry the plantains until they a nice golden brown color, and then flip to the other side. This should take about 2 or 3 minutes in total, but let your eyes be the judge.
Remove the plantains from the skillet and place on paper towels to drain the excess oil, then season with salt and pepper. Makes about 6 to 8 servings.
How to Prepare Boiled Plantains:
Drop unpeeled plantains in boiling water. Cook for 15-20 minutes until a test plantain is tender when pierced with a fork. Peel before serving.