Recipes from Ghana: Watchi (Black-Eyed Peas and Rice)

Recipes from Ghana

Watchi (Black-Eyed Peas and Rice)

Country: Ghana
Course: Side
Makes: 6 to 8 Servings


  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 4 to 5 inch piece kombu (optional)
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 heaping tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  1. Soak the peas overnight. Or, if you forget, you can put them in a pot and cover with water, then bring to a boil. Let boil for two to three minutes, then remove from heat. Cover and let stand for an hour or two.
  2. Drain the beans and put them in a pot with enough fresh water to cover. The water level should be two or three inches above the peas. Add the bay leaf and kombu (I could have sworn I had some kombu, but I couldn't find it so I had to leave it out). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover the pot so the lid is slightly ajar and let simmer for one hour, or until the peas are tender. Keep checking and add more water if you need to. There should be very little water remaining when the peas are done.
  3. Now toss the bay leaf and kombu if you were lucky enough to find yours, and add the cooked rice. Stir, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a large skillet and add flour to make a roux. Stirring constantly, cook the roux for two minutes or until it starts to brown. Now add the onion. When the onion has browned, stir in the tomato paste and nutmeg.
  5. Add a little water until you get a sauce, but don't let it get too soupy. Serve the peas and rice topped with the sauce.