Bharazi. Kenyan Black Eyed Peas in Coconut Milk and Spices


Looking for a totally different black-eyed pea recipe to make for good luck in the New Year?  A recipe from East Africa? Try this black-eyed pea stew called bharazi created by Indians living in Kenya.  


What is bharazi?

Bharazi is an Indianized Kenyan dish made with black-eyed peas, coconut milk, and spices.  Legumes such as black-eyed peas or pigeon peas are combined with with coconut milk and add Indian spices such as cumin and turmeric, and you get bharazi.


A recipe worth reposting

I posted this recipe last year for New Year’s Day and decided to publish it on my local Next Door website as well.  The reaction I got was so positive, folks went nuts on the recipe! Meaning everyone who tried it posted on the site that their families cleaned out the dish and asked for more!  So I thought I would repost this recipe this year.


The origins of bharazi

In the coastal regions of Kenya like Mombasa and Malindi fresh coconut water, coconut meat and coconut milk are a staple in local foods, and maize (corn meal), legumes, and cereals including millet and sorghum are a huge part of the Kenyan diet.  So you see, combining coconut milk with legumes such as black-eyed peas and then adding in some Indian spices seems like a natural outcome for Indians living in Kenya.


How did I become familiar with bharazi?

Given that Hitesh is from Mombasa he asked me to try making bharazi one day and that got me asking my Mom-in-law who lives in Mombasa for the recipe, and thats how learnt to make this totally unique and delicious black-eyed pea stew. 


For a departure from the usual New Year’s black-eyed pea recipe give bharazi a try!

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Bharazi. Black Eyed Peas in Coconut Milk
serves 2-4


  • 2 cans black eyed peas or 1 lb bag of frozen black-eyed peas.
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely diced
  • 4  cloves minced garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder or paprika
  • 1 green chili (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil.
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish

Here is a look at how easy it is to make bharazi.

  • If using frozen peas, cook them first before until fork tender according to package directions. Set aside.  If using canned black eyed peas, drain and rinse and set aside until ready to use.
  • Sauté onions and garlic with green chili in 2 tbsp oil until onions are tender.
  • Add all the spices and tomatoes and continue cooking until the tomatoes are tender and saucy,
  • Next add cooked black-eyed peas, coconut milk and salt. Cook everything together for about 5 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice and garnish with fresh cilantro.  Bharazi is ready!
  • Serve bharazi with white rice for a delicious meal at any time of the year!

Happy New Year 2020!

11 thoughts on “Bharazi. Kenyan Black Eyed Peas in Coconut Milk and Spices”

    1. You gave me the best compliment ever! This is the year I think that I will start looking at how to develop a cook book! Thank you for the inspiration and for being such a wonderful supporter! Happy new Year to you and I am happy to hear that your Father is doing well.

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