Black-eyed peas are creamy white in colour and have a black mark on their inner curve. The skin of black-eyed beans is quite thick. They have a subtle, nutty aroma and a rich creamy taste that is slightly earthy.
They are also known as black-eyed beans or cow peas. In Goa they are referred to as alsande. They are eaten sprouted or cooked, or ground into flour.
Always soak the beans overnight before cooking.
The best source of black-eyed peas are health food shops. Choose large, oblong peas that are creamy-white with a black eye on one side. If buying pre-packaged from a supermarket, make sure there is no evidence of moisture, which many indicate mould. Also reject any sign of infestation.
Black-eyed peas will keep for up to six months if stored in a cool dark place in an airtight container.