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Oy, an amazing pea side salad

This salad is the type of side dish that sits alone at the BBQ untouched because it looks really weird.  Then, someone brave enough to try it gets the ball rolling by yelling “holy shit, who made this pea thing, and what in the hell is in it”?

I love food that makes people swear.

It gets kind of awkward at church picnics though.

I first tried this dish at my mother-in-law’s house, and then promptly asked for the recipe.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so confused when receiving a recipe before.  The ingredients/directions called for “three chukahs of cumin”.

Say whaaaaaa?

The recipe was given to my mother-in-law by her friend Florence who loves to sprinkle her speech with familial Yiddish phrases.  I asked all my Jewish and shiksa friends alike, and not a one knew what in the hell a chukah meant.

So, we guessed that it meant “shakes”, as in “three shakes of cumin”, and went with it.  Worked out great.  And oy, this dish is amazing!

Word to the wise, make this dish the day before you want to serve it.  It gives the flavors a chance to meld together, and um, it is a dish you can make the night before a party, or a big family meal.  What’s not to love about that?

Florence’s Smoky Pea Salad
12 oz frozen peas.  Do not thaw them beforehand!
3 “chukahs” (shakes) of ground cumin
3 green onions, sliced
1 can of water chestnuts, drained
1 cup of smoked almonds
Mayo to taste

1) In a food processor, pulse the almonds until the pieces are small.  Please make sure you chop the almonds before the water chestnuts.  You’ll thank me when you have fewer dishes to do.  Empty the almonds in to a mixing bowl.



2) In the same food processor, pulse the water chestnuts until the pieces are small and uniform.  Empty them into the mixing bowl with the almonds.

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3) Slice the green onions, and dump them into the mixing bowl as well.

4) Add the peas to the bowl.


5) Add your ambiguous amount of cumin on top.


6) Add mayo bit by bit until you’re satisfied there is enough in there.  I think the original recipe called for 1.5 cups, but I really hate mayo, and usually only use about 1/2 cup plus a little bit more.


7) Mix thoroughly, cover, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.


This dish looks weird.  It sounds weird, but it tastes freaking amazing.  Weird and delicious is totally my bag.

And now it’s yours!

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9 comments on “Oy, an amazing pea side salad”

  1. This pea salad sounds delish and creative.

  2. It is my guess that chukah is the sound the shaker makes as you shake your spices in. Chukah, chukah, chukah, this is the sound my mom use to say when she used shaker bottles.

  3. Glad I found you again! Not a huge almond fan, but, since I might be the only one in the world, I may try this anyway! I’m also feeling the “WordPress-love” at the moment. (not.) If one more robot spams me about their brilliant solution to my SEO deficiencies, I might scream (if they are lucky).

  4. I am so glad I found you new home. I was lost without you in my inbox. I’ll try the salad….sounds good! Enjoy the long weekend.

  5. Thanks for sending out that email regarding your new domain! I hadn’t been getting any updates and was a sad panda. Bright side, I got to binge-read weeks of your hilarious posts.

  6. Don’t think I’ve ever seen smoked almonds over on this side of the pond in Blighty. Are they a common thing in that there ‘Murica?
    They sound intriguing, as does the pea salad. Gonna have a look for smoked almonds, but if I can’t find them do you think dry roasted peanuts would work instead? x

    • Hi Zola,

      It is pronounced “merica”. Ha! I’m not sure if they’re an international thing or not. They’re freaking delicious though, so I hope you can find them!

      Dry roasted peanuts would change the flavor, but I think it would be ok. You’d want to add some salt to the mix, and maybe some smoked paprika if you can track some down. The smokey flavor is pretty fabulous in the mix.

  7. I tried the salad tonight and it tastes really good!
    I just have a question… the only smoked almonds I could find were Hickory flavoured smoked salted almonds. I wasn’t too sure, so I just took roasted almonds. I live in Canada so maybe that’s not something common here…. or I haven’t looked hard enough!
    Anyway, thanks for the recipe!