Kunde: How to make this marvellous meal of black-eyed peas and tomatoes in peanut sauce

A quick, vegan dish from In Bibi’s Kitchen, by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen.

A quick, vegan dish from In Bibi’s Kitchen, by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen

(Photography by Khadija M. Farah & Jennifer May)

“When asked why they chose whatever recipe they shared, almost every bibi said it was because it was something that was easy to make,” reads the intro to In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean, written by Hawa Hassan, with Julia Turshen. “This is home cooking, which means you can make everything yourself with widely available and affordable ingredients,” they say of the recipes presented in their cookbook. Featured in the Kenya section, this vegan dish of black-eyed peas and tomatoes in peanut sauce is a meal to turn to any night you please.

Kunde (Black-Eyed Peas and Tomatoes in Peanut Sauce)

By Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen

Kunde is the Swahili word for black-eyed peas or cowpeas. Serve these stewed peas, fragrant with tomatoes and peanuts, with cooked rice for a quick, affordable, very filling, and totally vegan meal. Feel free to add some diced sweet potatoes or peeled and chopped winter squash to the pot, along with some chopped dark leafy greens (like kale or collards), if you want to stretch the beans into a heartier and even healthier dish. Just simmer until the vegetables are tender.


  • ¼ cup unsalted roasted peanuts, or 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Two 15.5-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup water


If using whole peanuts, place them in a food processor and pulse until finely ground, almost like sand. Set the peanuts aside.

Warm the oil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the coriander and turmeric and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid from the tomato has evaporated and the mixture is quite dry, about 5 minutes. Add the peas, peanuts (or peanut butter, if using), and water, increase the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer just until the peas have absorbed some of the wonderful flavor, about 5 minutes. Season the peas to taste with salt and serve immediately, while hot. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a few days and rewarmed in a heavy pot set over low heat (stir while you heat).

Yield: Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side dish

Reprinted with permission from In Bibi’s Kitchen by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen, copyright © 2020. Photographs by Khadija M. Farah & Jennifer May. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

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