Recipe: Mejadra with black-eyed peas

Budget-friendly, full of flavour and packed with Rosh Hashanah symbolism

  • place PRE 30 minutes
  • place COOK 1 hours plus resting time
  • place SERVES 4
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Mejadra and its crowd-pleasing status has kept it popular for centuries. It’s mouth-watering and savoury — and that’s even before we add caramelised onions. In honour of Rosh Hashanah we have swapped the lentils for black eyed peas, which are a traditional Rosh Hashanah food.


  • For caramelised onions: in a large sauté pan, heat the oil, add the onions, stirring occasionally, and fry until very dark mahogany coloured, but not burnt (up to 45 minutes – but worth the effort).

  • For the black-eyed peas: Place the them in a bowl and cover with a litre of cold water. Soak for at least 6 hours and up to 24 and then rinse with cold water.

  • Combine the peas, cinnamon, ginger, onion, and garlic in a medium pan over a medium flame, add 1 litre of water.

  • Bring the contents of the pot to the boil, lower the heat so that the water stays at a rolling boil and cook until the peas are soft - about 40 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle, pick out the cinnamon, onion, garlic and ginger and discard. Set aside the peas for later.

  • For the rice: Heat the oil in a large sauté pan with high sides and a cover.

  • Add the chopped onion and fry until the onion looks translucent and soft. Add the rice to the onion and stir to coat the grains in oil and starting to turn translucent. Stir in the Baharat, salt and pepper until well mixed.

  • Add 1 litre of water, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to a slow simmer. At this point cover the pan and LEAVE IT ALONE!

  • Leave until the rice is cooked and the water absorbed - about 20 minutes. l Turn off the heat and let the rice sit for about 10 minutes.

  • To assemble: mix the peas into the rice. Just before serving, top with the fried onions.



For the onions:
4 onions, halved and thinly sliced
3 tbsp vegetable oil
For black-eyed peas:
200g dried black-eyed peas
1 cinnamon stick
2 cm piece of fresh ginger, unpeeled
½ onion, unpeeled
1 bulb garlic halved through the horizon
For rice:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ onion, chopped very finely
200g white long grain rice
1 tbsp Baharat spice
1 tsp salt
A few grinds of black pepper

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