When I asked my mother about what “red red” was, she explained that it is in actual fact, any stew made with palm oil. It has become accepted that this traditional black eyed pea stew or bean stew is widely known as red red. It is traditionally made with black eyed peas, however I remember mother making this with red beans, she says they taste better than the black eyed peas. Seeing as I am a busy Londoner with no time to soak beans, and knowing that I seldom stick to tradition when it comes to cooking, I have made an extremely easy version of this dish using a combination of canned black eyed peas and adzuki beans.
3 tbsp palm oil (must, otherwise it’s not “Red Red”)
1 inch ginger
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp tomato puree
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 vegetable, fish or prawn stock cube
1 can adzuki beans
1 can black eye peas (no time for soaking dried beans)
1 scotch bonnet pepper, left whole
1. Heat up the palm oil and fry the onions until golden.
2. Add the garlic, ginger and tomato puree and fry for a minute
3. Add the chopped tomatoes followed by the stock cube and allow to fry and reduce for 10 minutes
4. Add the beans, including bean juice in can. Add the whole scotch bonnet to release flavour without too much heat and bring to a simmer.
Traditionally enjoyed with fried plantain and a sprinkling of gari.