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Happy New Year everyone! Hope your new years celebrations were awesome! If you were anything like me and were eagerly awaiting the new year and the changes it would bring, then like me I am sure you were promptly disappointed that 2022 seems to be more of the same. I mean first of all Betty White passed away. Like why? Why did that have to be the start of 2022? It seems like the Omicron variant is raging away with no end in sight. I mean it has been two years now and I am exhausted. I remember when news of this virus first started to circulate, as a virologist, I watched the news with curiosity more than anything. At that point, I incorrectly thought that the outbreak would subside as quickly as it started. You know as virologists, we write and think about the next epidemic and perform research that hopefully prevents them from occurring. But experiencing a whole pandemic in real time has been something else. I am thankful that no one that I am close with has contracted the virus but my heart goes out to those whose lives have been uprooted due to this unprecedented pandemic.
As far as I know, in Fiji, we don't have a specific dish we make for new years although much like Christmas, special foods like goat, pooris and dhal-stuffed rotis, do get cooked in family get-togethers. There were no family get-togethers this time around of course and my husband and I chose to stay in and celebrate new years at home. I wanted to start out new years on a good foot and so started looking up how other cultures celebrated new years with food. I found out that some cultures eat black-eyed beans for good luck for the new year so of course I had to make an Indo-Fijian dish out of that! I decided to make a curry out of black-eyed beans based on my Mum's Classic Crowder Bean Curry . The black-eyed beans curry recipe is super tasty and comes together really quickly as we use frozen beans for this recipe. So basically once the aromatics and masalas are done blooming, just dump the beans in. Once the beans are thawed and start to brown, add water and cook until beans are fall-apart tender. Last step is to garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with fresh rotis! We ate this with parathas and that was super tasty too! I hope you try this recipe soon and I hope that it brings you lots of luck in the new year! Check out the full recipe with measurements below.
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RECIPE: Serves 4 Prep time 10 minutes Cook time 30 minutes Ingredients: 1 lb bag of frozen black-eyed beans 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp mustard seeds 1/2 tsp cumin seeds Handful of curry leaves (optional) 2 Thai chilies (optional) 1/4 cup diced onions 1 tbsp crushed garlic 1 tbsp crushed ginger 1/2 tsp turmeric 1/2 tsp garam masala Salt to taste Handful of chopped cilantro Method:
On medium heat, add curry leaves, mustard and cumin seeds. As they sizzle, add onions, ginger, garlic, and chilies. Cook until aromatic. About 1-2 minutes. Add turmeric and garam masala. Cook for 30 seconds.
Add frozen black-eyed beans. Add salt. Stir.
When beans have thawed and have begun to brown, add 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil.
Turn heat to low and let beans cook until water has cooked off and beans are almost falling apart. Turn heat off.
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