Black Eyed Pea (Cowpea) Soup

This soup was so good. We served it with white long grain rice. The cooking time depends on how long you soak the peas. I soaked mine for 2 hours and cooked them for 65 minutes. I wanted them really soft. Enjoy the weekend!

Here is black eyed peas (cowpea) before cooking

Soak the black eyed pea overnight or for several hours. Fry the cumin seeds, then add the onions and cook until light golden, then ginger and garlic pastes and cook 2 minutes. Add the chilli and spices and cook 1 minute.

Finally, add the pureed tomatoes, cook about 10 minutes, then add the peas, potato and salt. Add 4 cups water and cook 50-70 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Mine was soaked 2 hours and I cooked for 65 minutes. Next time I soaked 8 hours and still cooked 65 minutes.

Black Eyed Pea (Cowpea) Soup

Preparation time: 15 minutes; Cooking time: 65-85 minutes  Serves: 4-6


  • 2 cups black eyed pea (cow pea, rongi or chawli), washed and soaked overnight or several hours, then drained
  • 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion finely chopped (you can use a chopper)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger finely grated
  • 4 medium cloves garlic crushed
  • ½-1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes or cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 5 medium tomatoes finely chopped (or 1 x 400ml /14oz can diced tomatoes, pureed in a chopper or blender)
  • 1 cup diced potatoes (same size as the peas)
  • 4-5 cups water 
  • A handful, finely chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • salt to taste


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy based and deep pot over medium-low heat and add the cumin seeds and stir until they begin to sizzle (do not burn them please)-use a deep 9-inch (23cm) diameter, pot for best results.
  2. Add the onions and cook until they turn light golden. Add the ginger and garlic and cook 2 minutes over gentle heat, without browning.
  3. Now, add the chilli flakes, turmeric, garam masala and coriander powder and cook for one minute then add the tomatoes and the remaining one tablespoon oil and cook over medium low heat for about 10 minutes or until the oil separates from the paste.
  4. Now add the black eyed pea, potatoes and salt to taste, and stir, until well mixed with the paste. Add four cups water, bring to the boil and simmer over low heat for 50-70 minutes, stirring from time to time, or until cooked to your liking.
  5. Adjust the seasoning, and adjust the gravy (if too thick add hot water and boil for about 5 minutes) if too watery, boil over medium high heat until reduced. 

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

2 thoughts

  1. Are the nutritional values for this soup available …couldn’t see it on the page but first time visiting this blog so might have missed something.

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