Saute rice & coconut in the 2½ tablespoons oil for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water & cinnamon stick. Cover the pot & bring it to a rapid boil. Do not peek at the rice, but when the steam starts escaping, turn the heat down. Simmer for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the black eyed peas with the bay leaf in salted, boiling water till tender (only takes abot 20-25 minutes). Drain them & remove the bay leaves. Keep warm till the rice & tempeh are ready.
Saute the garlic & onion with the ¼ cup of oil till the onions soften. Stir in chile & bell pepper. Saute for 2 minutes. Add fennel, tempeh, salt & pepper. Lower heat, but stir frequently til tempeh is crisp & golden.
Combine everything, mixing together well.
Your WEST INDIAN RICE AND PEAS WITH TEMPEH is ready. Buon appetito!
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