Kosher/Soul Black-eyed Pea Hummus

Recipe contributed by Michael W. Twitty; photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  8 servings
Prep Time:  15 minutes Cook Time:  0 minutes

Kosher/Soul Black-eyed Pea Hummus

The black-eyed pea hummus produces a denser hummus than you are used to. It also sucks up a lot of lemon juice. My best advice is: do not use reconstituted juice. Use the real thing—and be prepared to use more than average to ensure that the tang and smack of the lemon penetrates the earthy-pasty taste of the peas. Once you season it and mix it to taste, it’s such a delicacy you’ll appreciate all the trouble you had juicing lemons. All the traditional dips and more pair wonderfully with my “Kosher/Soul” take on this ancient classic. The spices mimic the flavors of my favorite homestyle barbecue rub.

I use organic, plain, canned black-eyed peas. Why not cook your own dried peas? You run the risk of overcooking them. Steamed, soft, canned black-eyed peas are much easier to work with and are the right consistency for easy mashing.—Michael Twitty


1 (15-ounce) can plain black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained, preferably organic

¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

⅓ cup of sesame seed paste (tahini)

½ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon of preserved lemon juice brine or 1½ teaspoons kosher salt

4 minced or roughly chopped cloves fresh garlic

1 teaspoon mild or smoked ground paprika (save some for garnish)

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon brown sugar or raw (turbinado) sugar

1 teaspoon hot sauce

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (flat-leaf preferred), for garnish

1 tablespoon of sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. Mash or process the black-eyed peas in a food processor.  Mashing makes for a chunkier hummus, while processing makes for a smoother dip. If you are using the processor, pulse for about 15 seconds at a time, until the peas are broken down. Continually scrape the processor so that everything gets mixed in. (You may choose to reserve a few black-eyed peas as a garnish or to vary the texture. A few will work for a garnish, but for texture add a half a can of whole-black eyed peas to your mashed or processed mixture.)
  2. Mix the olive oil and tahini together with a whisk. Turn the black-eyed pea hummus into a mixing bowl, and drizzle the tahini mixture in, a bit at a time,  mixing between additions until everything is incorporated. Add the lemon juice, preserved lemon juice brine or salt, garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, chili powder, sugar, and hot sauce and mix well, adding more to taste if necessary.  Remember, black-eyed pea hummus swallows flavors—so you may have to adjust to your or your guests’ tastes.   
  3. Transfer the black-eyed pea hummus to a bowl. Sprinkle with a bit of paprika, the fresh parsley, and sesame seeds. Drizzle with extra olive oil if you so choose.  

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I’m looking forward to making this! Soul Food Hummus!

Valerie Gardner - September 9, 2015

I love this dish; and adore Michael too. Wait until you try it!

Tami Weiser - September 10, 2015

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