Place black-eyed peas into a large container and cover with several inches of cool water; let stand for 8 hours to overnight. Drain and rinse peas.
Combine peas, onion, tomato sauce, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, salt, cumin, paprika, ginger, and cayenne pepper in a stockpot; pour 3 1/2 cups water over pea mixture. Bring water to a boil, decrease heat to low, cover pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding more water if sauce gets too thick, until peas are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
If using fresh picked peas, omit soaking process and reduce cook time by half.
Fresh parsley can be substituted for fresh cilantro. Hungarian paprika can be substituted for sweet paprika.
Quick-soak method for peas: add washed peas to pot of boiling water; immediately remove from heat and soak for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
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