How to Make It
In a large bowl, cover the black-eyed peas with room-temperature water and let soak for 20 minutes.
In a large saucepan, combine 2 quarts of water with the vegetable oil, salt and sugar and bring to a vigorous boil. Drain the black-eyed peas and add them to the saucepan. Simmer over moderate heat until the peas are tender but not mushy, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the freshness of the beans (older beans need to cook longer). Add boiling water to the saucepan as it evaporates to keep the black-eyed peas covered. Drain the black-eyed peas in a colander, transfer them to a medium bowl and serve.