Loobia-Cheshm-Bolboli Polow - Rice with Black-Eyed Peas
2 cups rice, washed, soak in salted water for two hours
1 1/2 cup dried black-eyed peas, picked over, rinse
5-6 cups of water for the rice
3-4 cups water for the peas
2 -3 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon of ground saffron mixed with 2-3 tablespoons of hot water (liquid saffron)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped dates *optional
1/2 cup currants *optional
1 small onion, peeled, thinly sliced and caramelized *optional
2 tablespoons butter
- Place black-eyed peas in a medium size pot. Add water, bring to a boil and after 2-3 minutes, reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 40 minutes or until tender. Black-eyed peas don't require the over night soak.
- In the meantime, in a non-stick pot bring water to boil, add rice and boil for 10-15 minutes or until the ends are soft and the center is still a bit firm.
- In the last five minutes, gently scoop in the cooked beans to the boiling rice and let the rice and the beans boil together for 5-7 minutes.
- Drain in a colander and rinse gently with cool water.
- Wash and clean the pot, add oil to the bottom, add rice and the beans, place the pot on the stove on medium heat. When you notice the steam come up, sprinkle a cup of water or the left over liquid from the beans and the liquid saffron. Put the lid back on tightly. You may wrap the lid in a towel to prevent the moisture from going back in. Cook for 45-50 minutes.
- In a small frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, saute onion until brown, add raisins and dates, saute for 5 more minutes.