The modest Pisum sativum is a member of the Fabaceae, which means it is a legume, in the same family as other plants you surely know of as well, like alfalfa, garbanzos, and beans. All of these are characterized by the shell they create to protect their seeds, which assures them safekeeping of their progeny. But unfortunately for them, they are extremely delicious and healthy for humanity. Even if you didn’t know it’s common name P. sativum until now, I’m sure you’ve eaten it in salads and stews before. This name refers to the common pea or garbanzo, which we will be writing about today. This is another one of those silent ingredients in the kitchen, which sneaks in to more than just a few recipes, but receives very little attention in the recipe books. That’s why I would like to make a small tribute today to this tireless green friend, which has accompanied us practically since it was discovered in agriculture in the Middle East. Some archeological records show that it has been by our side for at least 10,000 years.
Benefits and properties of peas
You would think that after 10,000 years we would have learned everything there is to know about peas, or that we would know by heart everything you could possibly make with them. But did you know that just 100 grams of peas contain up to 5.4 grams of protein, 27 mg of calcium, 271 mg of potassium, or 30 mg of magnesium? Or did you know that its pigments can provide antioxidants to protect your body from oxidation? They apparently have properties to help regulate cholesterol too, and as if that weren’t enough, they were Mendel’s tool to help elaborate his ideas about genetic segregation. But let’s move on over to the table. I hope you find surprises here too.
- ½ c. peas
- ½ c. carrots, cubed
- 1 c. rice
- 2 c. chicken broth
- ¼ white onion
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 green chilies, whole
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- Cook the 3 tomatoes in a pot of water. They have finished cooking when the skins begin to peel away.
- Blend chicken broth with the tomatoes and garlic.
- Add oil to a pot and heat before adding rice. Add rice and lightly toast. Stir with a wooden spoon to ensure even cooking and to prevent the rice from sticking. Rice is ready when it has turned golden in color.
- Add chicken broth with tomatoes, followed by peas and carrots. Add the onion, sliced, and the chilies, which will absorb the broth flavor. Cook over low heat until the water evaporates and the rice is spongy.
- Take out the chilies and onion before serving. In Mexico, this is considered a side-dish for a wide variety of other dishes.
- 100 grams organic peas
- 200 grams chicken breast, cooked and removed from bone
- 1 ½ c. flour
- 40 grams of butter, melted
- 1/3 c. water
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. red chili
- ½ tsp. cumin powder
- ½ tsp. cilantro, diced
- ½ tsp. cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- Vegetable oil
- Mix flour, salt, and half of the butter in a bowel. Use your fingertips to blend so the butter is distributed. The mixture will not be very evenly blended.
- Sprinkle flour in and add water. Knead for at least 10 minutes, until creating a smooth and stretchy dough. Cover dough with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour.
- Add the remaining butter to a pan along with chicken, peas, chili, lemon, cumin, cilantro, cinnamon, and salt to taste. Lightly cook until the flavors blend, and set aside. This will be the samosa filling.
- Divide the dough into 4 parts. Form 2 mm thick disks using a rolling pin. With the help of a cookie cutter, cut circles that are 10 cm in diameter.
- Place measured amounts of the mixture into the dough, closing the dough like an empanada. Pinch the edges to close.
- Pour the oil into a deep skillet and heat before frying the samosas. When the oil is ready, place the samosas in the skillet and fry until golden. Clean the remaining oil from the samosas with a paper towel, and serve.
- You can serve these with mango chutney. You can also use different fillings.
- 3 c. peas
- 40 grams butter
- ½ c. Greek yogurt
- ¼ c. onion, thinly diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 100 grams cubed ham or yellow corn organic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook peas in a pot of water and salt until soft. Once they have cooked, drain water.
- Melt butter in a skillet. Add onion, garlic, and salt until soft and golden. Stir from time to time.
- Add peas and yogurt. Blend well for at least 2 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper. Process the mixture, or mash it. Add ham or kernels, mix and serve.
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