Vegetarian Hoppin' John

Submitted by Vadakpat Tirumalai from Chicago
Hoppin' John
Hoppin' John over rice

This is a vegetarian version of the traditional Hoppin' John dish made for good luck on New Year's. People I work with expect this now and remind me starting around Halloween!

This is a spicy, garlicky recipe. It looks like a lot of garlic, but it is not, as sliced garlic is not as pungent as chopped garlic.

Ingredients

1/2 lb dried black eyed peas or 2 14oz. cans of salt-free black eyed peas
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp each powdered: allspice, nutmeg, caraway, and dried oregano
1 tsp thyme (or ajwain) (optional)
3 large shallots or 1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 head garlic, sliced
2 1/2 cups rice
5 cups water (use the drained black eyed peas canned liquid if using cans and add water to make 5 cups of liquid)
1/2 tbsp mushroom or vegetable bouillon paste
1 14 oz can salt-free fire roasted tomatoes (optional)
2-3 dashes of liquid smoke (hickory or mesquite)
Salt to taste

Directions

1. If using dried black eyed peas, cook according to the recipe on the packet. Or use 2 14 oz. cans of black eyed peas (reserve the canning liquid).

2. Heat oil. Singe the spice mix for 15 seconds. Sauté the shallots/onion for 2-3 minutes. When translucent, add garlic. After 1 minute, add rice and sauté for 3 mins. Add 5 cups of water and bouillon paste. Once it comes to a boil, add cooked black-eyed peas (and tomatoes if using). Add 2-3 dashes of liquid smoke. Salt to taste. Bring to boil again. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.