Tuscans are labelled by Northern Italians with the moniker “fagioloni” which literally means “bean eaters”. Well, I am a Lombard, not a Tuscan, but I too am a “fagiolona” because I adore beans and pulses and cook and eat them as often as possible.
The Hodmedod range is a new British brand, that showcases old fashioned British pulses that could do with a re-introduction in all our kitchens and on our tables. Black badger peas, for example, have been grown in Britain for at least 500 years, and are also known as carlin or maple peas. They are eaten in the north of England and served parched, which means boiled and roast or soaked in vinegar.
They are nutty, meaty, rich, frugal and comforting – the perfect recession larder ingredient. In this recipe I have cooked them with Sumayya Jamil’s delicious Jasmine Masala Monsoon Garam Masala blend and drizzled the result with Dana Elemara’s fragrant Arganic Argan Oil. As an accompaniment to roast chicken, or on its own with crusty sourdough bread and cold white wine, this dish is quite unbeatable.
Black Badger peas with eggs and spice
To serve 4 people
250 g Hodmedod black badger peas, soaked overnight
A sprig of bay leaves
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, trimmed and finely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
1 heaped teaspoon Masala Monsoon Jasmine Garam Masala spice blend
4-8 boiled free range eggs, boiled
Make sure you soak the black badger peas overnight, then drain, rinse and boil in clean water with a sprig of bay leaves until soft for 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a heavy casserole, heat some olive oil and saute the onion, celery and garlic till soft, adding sea salt, black pepper and a little water to create steam.
Add the cooked peas, the heaped teaspoon of Masala Monsoon Jasmine Garam Masala spice blend, and mix well. Cook over a low flame for a further ten minutes, then cover the pan with foil or a lid and set aside somewhere warm.
Peel the boiled eggs, slice in half and place around the peas, drizzling with Argan oil on top. Serve.