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Peas, Cumin & shopping bags

September 5, 2012

While participating in a group art show this summer- “Ways of Making”– at Governor State University here in the Chicagoland area I met fellow artist Cydney Lewis,  a truly gifted woman who sculpts with- of all things– those plastic shopping bags what we encounter just about everyday. Most people know them, they have two holes that are used for handles– but she wraps and bubbles and sculpts them into an unrecognizable form. From a distance, her sculptures look like either beads or a loosely woven, “thick-materialed” cloth or wrap. But get closer and you’ll see the wonder of the everyday- recognizing bags from stores you may even frequent. Some of her work is more figural, abstracted but still recognizable. Please by all means see her site: (SEE LINK IN SIDEBAR under “Blogroll”)

PEAS and CUMIN describe the texture and color of her piece “Emeralds of Ivy”– it was easy what recipe to choose! Peas for their color and texture, cumin for its color, and coconut milk does the binding. This vegetarian recipe can be a side dish, you can add protein with tofu, chicken or seafood, or as mentioned in “VARIATIONS” you can add more types of veggies.– As always, taste THEN ADJUST to your own needs, more pepper, less salt etc. . ..Always use a recipe as a guide to do your own thing!

Peas with Cumin & Coconut Milk


2 heaping cups peas- frozen or *fresh cooked

1 cup green onion, using both green and white parts- or 1 cup yellow onion

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon olive oil or clarified butter

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon fresh ground ginger root

8 oz coconut milk(regular or lite)

(cooked rice) optional

fresh lime wedges- optional

reserved chopped green onion for garnish-optional

  • If you purchase fresh English peas, (that you have shelled or that have already been removed from the shell) you cook them by blanching them for about 2-3 minutes in a large(pasta-size) pot rapidly boiling hot water.  Immediately take them out with a slotted spoon and rinse in cold water briefly.

1.Heat oil on medium low heat in a large saucepan, add onion and cook till

just translucent, not browned, about 4-5 minutes.

2. Add all spices and fresh ginger, (not cilantro)cook for about 2 minutes longer- till you smell the aroma of the cumin coming through.

3. Add coconut milk, stir till warmed through.

4. Add peas and stir till they are warmed through, a few minutes.

5. Turn off the heat, and stir in fresh cilantro last.

6. Serve atop a bed of brown or white rice, garnish with chopped green onion and a squirt of fresh lime if desired.

VARIATIONS- add a medium chopped cooked potato, some cauliflower , tofu or add ½ cup chopped cooked carrots.

TOP PHOTO: “Emeralds of Ivy” by Cydney Lewis. BOTTOM: Peas with Cumin & Coconut Milk


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One Comment
  1. stafford permalink

    Wow, who woulda thunkkk that some peas ova rice would look so good! Go head, RAQY!!

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