This improvisation on a lazy rainy afternoon has become our favorite way of eating the ritual good-luck black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. Like many recipes for legumes, you should see this one as a signpost not a blue print, and add your own touches. You can leave out the spices (except for the garlic and ginger) or reduce the quantities. You can order our hock and black eyed peas New Year Day Box here.
Note: Garam masala is easy to find in any Indian grocery or on the internet, but you never know how long it’s been sitting on a shelf. It’s very easy to make if you have a coffee grinder you keep for spices, and amply repays the minimal effort entailed. A very easy one adapted from Madhur Jaffrey: pulverize 1 tbsp. cardamom seeds (out of their papery husks), 1 tsp cloves, 1 tsp. black peppercorns, 1 2-inch piece of cinnamon, 1 tsp. cumin seeds, ¼ nutmeg. What you don’t use should be stored tightly covered and out of the light.