Red Red

Red Red
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Red Red

Red Red (African stewed black eyed peas) is one of my favorite meals to make.  It hits on all points - its
inexpensive, its healthy, its easy, and it is delicious.  Seriously.  I can't do justice to the flavors with mere words.  Just trust me and make this recipe.  I think it was one of the first meals I ever made that my husband, my kids, and I all loved. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 197kcal
Author While It's Cooking


  • 1 bag black eyed peas can use 3 cans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • .5 tbsp garlic minced
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes canned
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 2 tsp vegetable bouillon can use chicken bouillon or fish stock if not making vegetarian
  • salt to taste
  • ground pepper to taste
  • Aleppo pepper (crushed) to taste


  • Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent (3-4 minutes).
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, and old bay seasoning. Cook while stirring for about 1 minute.
  • Add 2 cups water, bullion powder, and beans (if using frozen). Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce heat to low (and add beans if using canned). Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and aleppo peppers (to taste). Simmer for about an hour until black-eyed peas are tender (if using
    canned black-eyed peas, simmer for 15-25 minutes). Add more water during cook time if need to prevent burning.

Make it a Meal

  • Serve over basmatti rice.
  • For a truly authentic experience, serve with fried plantains and a sticky dough called fufu (I haven't yet attempted to make either, but The Spruce Eats has recipes on both - and it happens to be one of my favorite cooking sites). If you prefer some meat with your meal, add crayfish or shrimp when you add the first bit of water to your red red. This dish also goes amazingly well with smoked meats. I love to dice smoked sausage and saute till the edges are brown and almost crispy and serve that over the top.


While It's Cooking...

I first became interested in Ghana when I read an article about their caskets.  It might sound like a strange thing to draw my interest, but in Ghana a casket is something special.  They are works of art.  In Ghana, a funeral is a party and the casket is a unique way of honoring the deceased.  Special artists are hired to create caskets that are tributes to the person who has passed on.  They might be a reflection of their job, tribe, or what the person loved most in life.
Ghanaians believe that life continues in the next world much the same as it does in this world, but that the spirits in that world are able to influence those in this world.  By sending them into the afterlife with what they loved from this life, Ghanaians hope the person who passed on will enjoy the afterworld and remember those left behind in a favorable light.
For more interesting facts about Ghana, click here.


Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 603mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 758IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 5mg
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While It's Cooking

I love cooking. Always have. As a busy mother of two young kids, oftentimes the best time I have to pick up a cookbook or explore a new idea is while food is cooking. Sometimes I use that time to explore more about the meal I am preparing - the food, the traditions, the culture. Sometimes I use that time to figure out what I'm going to cook next and delve deeper into ingredients and techniques to experiment with. Usually while I'm cooking my family leaves me alone in the kitchen and I can enjoy a rare moment to myself. One of my favorite times of the day is "While It's Cooking."

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