Tobago Black Eye Peas and Rice

29.12.16 | Recipe by Renz
The perfect one pot dish traditionally made to serve as the New Year comes in. A flavorful rice dish that your family will love.

Once you have peas in your house for New Year's day, you would have plenty of everything for the New Year.

This is the notion of why we in Trinidad and Tobago traditionally ensure that for New Year's day (Old Years) black eye peas and rice is cooked up and waiting as the New Year rolls over.

This one pot dish is packed with the basics of basics that any house needs to survive: peas and rice.

As the year turns over, we all want to ensure that we are provided with the basics to get through the new year.
A big pot of this black eye peas and rice cook up is done on Old Years night (we don't call it New Year's Eve) and is readily served to family and neighbors.

Everyone is looking for new beginnings and prosperity for the New Year. This rice and peas create a community of hope, goodwill, and joy for the future.

Let me tell you a funny story.

I hated black eye peas as a child. It was just so chalky to me. When my mom cooked it I would usually play around with the peas and get the rice. Then it turned into "you are not getting up until you eat those peas" and I had to figure out something QUICK.

What did I do? I started swallowing those bad boys whole. OMG. As I think about it now I'm cracking up, but it got me off the table and back to playing really quick.

Tobago Black Eye Peas and Rice

Now as an adult, and also probably not wanting to die from choking, I chew my peas before I swallow them.

But I love traditions. I love the idea of traditions that especially create community and good will.

I love that the idea of the new year making people so conducive to hope, and prosperity. A chance for everyone to start over, even if it is just the notion of it all.

And as 2016 winds down, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, my readers, for passing through my little spot.

2016 has been an amazing year for me with blogging. A hobby for a greedy Caribbean girl that has taken off way more than she expected.

I am extremely grateful for all the likes, shares, comments, emails, attempts at my recipes, feedback. I couldn't be growing day by day, month by month if it wasn't for you passing through here.

How to make black eye peas and Rice

I look forward to continuing this journey in 2017 and for all the new things that are going to happen here on the blog, in my life and in your life.

I pray that, for my readers, 2017 is filled with all the hopes and dreams and prosperity we see in this bowl of rice and black-eye peas cook up.

And I pray you chew your peas before you swallow. Haha.

Delicious Black eye Peas and Rice

What are are your Old Years (New Year's Eve) traditions? I'm always curious what others do.

Tobago Black Eyed Peas and Rice
Yield: 4-6
Author: Renz @ HomeMadeZagat
Tobago Black Eyed Peas and Rice

Tobago Black Eyed Peas and Rice

A one-pot "cook up" of rice and black eye peas, that is traditionally made in the Caribbean for Old Years (New Year's Eve). Can be cooked with ham bone and pigtail for meat options
Prep time: 25 MCook time: 30 MTotal time: 55 M


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can black eye peas
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pumpkin (or squash)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (2 med cloves)
  • 1 1/2 cups parboiled rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar


  1. Drain peas from tin.
  2. On a medium heat, bring water, peas, onion and garlic to high boil
  3. Add rice, pumpkin, salt and coconut milk to pot
  4. Lower heat and simmer till rice is softened
  5. Add black pepper and sugar
  6. Leave to simmer till all liquid is absorbed
  7. Serve by itself or with your favorite meat
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