Black-Eyed Peas & Rice with Ata Din Din Fish Stew

This super simple fish stew is one of my favorite dishes for those times of year when the seasons are changing and you’re not quite sure what to eat. Packed full of flavor with our Egunsi Foods soups and sauces, it’s sure to be a delicious choice for your next meal.

My Take on Fish Stew

For this recipe, I put together an easy and straightforward stew using two of our products: our Ata Din Din Sauce and our Obe Ata Soup. The Ata Din Din and the Obe Ata have a ton of flavor between the two, so I love using them for the base of other dishes like this stew to get a head start on the cooking and make sure the final product is still a meal you dream about! I use both because they offer a great balance of chunky and smooth texture.

For this dish, we poach the fish right in the mixture of sauteed onion, Ata Din Din, Obe Ata, and Iru Woro (Woro means “whole” in Yoruba), which is a fermented locust bean. Iru adds that extra layer of depth and umami flavor. I love using cod because it’s a light white fish but it’s still hearty. It can take on the flavor of whatever base you’re poaching it in, but it won’t break apart while it’s cooking.

What to Serve it With: Black-Eyed Peas & Rice

Black-eyed peas and rice make the perfect pairing for this Ata Din Din fish stew. As a side dish, the rice and black-eyed peas helps soak up all that extra sauce from the stew so you don’t miss a drop, and you get the added health benefits of black-eyed peas (they’re an excellent source of important vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, and vitamin A).

Plus, black-eyed peas are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day to usher in luck for the year ahead. This is a great new and creative way to incorporate these little beans on your New Year’s table!

Why Do I Use Fresh Black-Eyed Peas?

When I was younger, growing up in Nigeria, we moved to a farm. We had hundreds of acres of farmland. My mother, a great-granddaughter of a cocoa farmer, encouraged us to learn and understand where our food came from, so we started growing a number of different things – corn, sweet potatoes, and even black-eyed peas.

Black-eyed peas were hard to grow since they were especially susceptible to being attacked by insects. But they were so worth the reward. The fresh black-eyed peas are so much more flavorful than the dry ones, with its flavor profile more pronounced.

The fresh peas also cook faster than the dried ones. They cook more like regular peas, and they have a tender and creamy consistency. I was so happy when I found fresh black-eyed peas at the farmer’s market, because I’d been searching for that same flavor for years, and I finally found it. I hope you all have the chance to try it.

How to Make Black-Eyed Peas with Ata Din Din Fish Stew

Fish Stew:

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes 
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Serving: 6 - 8  servings

Black-Eyed Peas & Rice:

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes 
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Serving: 4 - 6  servings


For the Fish Stew:

  • 1 lb. cod fish, cut into cubes
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ of 1 onion, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon Iru (dried locust beans)
  • 1 jar Egunsi Foods Ata Din Din Sauce
  • ½ jar Egunsi Foods Obe Ata Soup

For the Black-Eyed Peas & Rice:

  • 1 cup rice
  • ½ cup fresh black-eyed peas*
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Cooking Directions

For the fish stew:

  1. Add the oil to a pot and heat over medium-high. Once hot, add the diced onion and saute until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the Iru, then the jar of Ata Din Din Sauce and the Obe Ata. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 10 minutes while all the flavors come together.
  3. Season the cubes of cod with salt and pepper, and then add to the pot. Stir everything together and simmer until the cod is cooked through, about 15 minutes – it should no longer be translucent, and it should flake easily with a fork.

For the rice and beans:

  1. Add the rice and the water to a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the black-eyed peas after 20 minutes of the rice cooking on its own and allow to cook for 10 more minutes until both the rice and black-eyed peas are done. Add salt to your taste preference!
  2. If using dried beans, see notes for additional cook time.

Serve the fish stew with the rice and beans and enjoy!


*You can also use dried black-eyed peas for this recipe. If using dried black-eyed peas, they should be cooked for 20 minutes first before adding the rice. Once you start smelling the beans cooking, it’s time to add the rice. Then, cook for another 25 minutes until the rice has absorbed all the water and it’s completely dry.

If you choose to use dried black-eyed peas, use the following measurements:

  • 1 cup rice
  • ¼ cup dried black-eyed peas
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

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