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{happy lady makes}: black eyed pea coconut dessert...


Coconut milk is a staple of Thai food as well a common ingredients in many Southeast Asian desserts. My mom used to make a dessert called kao neo tao dam {white beans with sticky rice in coconut milk} all the time when I was a kid. Whenever I make it now, it instantly it brings me back home {I love how food can do that}. While usually served with sweet sticky rice, I often enjoy just the beans and coconut milk on it's own because sticky rice can take a long time and some advanced planning. The bean component is so simple to make yet savory, salty, and sweet all at the same time. Here's how...

You'll need:
1 (15 oz.) can of black eyed peas
1 (13 oz.) can of coconut milk
1-3 tablespoons of sugar
pinch of sea salt

Here's how:
1. Open black eyed pea can, drain liquid, and rinse peas {they're actually beans even though they're called peas} in a bowl until the liquid runs clean. Soak for 30 minutes, then rinse one more time until the liquid is totally clear.
2. Empty coconut milk in a medium pot on medium heat and add rinsed black eyed peas.
3. Heat on medium until warm, then add 1 tablespoon of sugar. Do not let it boil over.
4. Continue to heat for another 5 minutes, taste and add additional sugar {up to 3 tablespoons} as desired. While Thai desserts are normally very sweet, I prefer to bring the sugar down a notch and usually add about 2 tablespoons of sugar total. Also, the peas have a tad of saltiness to them which will offer a balance if the coconut milk does get too sweet. Once you've reached your ideal sweet level, add a tiny pinch of salt.
5. Continue to stir for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm.
6. If you'd like to serve with rice for added texture, I like black sweet wild rice {see below} for texture and visual contrast.


{photos by Oh Joy}