Pigeon peas are a type of legume similar in taste and texture to edamame. They have a green shell, a nutty taste and a crisp texture. They are part of the bean family. Pigeon peas are also related to chickpeas, alfalfa, and peanuts since they are a perennial legume.
They can be used in:
- Rice dishes (most common)
How to prepare them:
- Boil for 5-7 minutes.
- Transfer to an ice bath to cool.
They can also be purchased dried or canned like other beans/legumes.
Pigeon peas are surprisingly nutritious. They are high in protein with one cup containing approximately 11g of protein. They are also high in iron and provide a good source of Vitamin A, B-6, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. You can substitute pigeon peas into any dish that uses beans or legumes for a nutritious, protein-packed replacement.
Pigeon peas are thought to have originated in India but they are common staples in Africa, the Middle East, and South America as well. The most popular dish containing pigeon peas is a rice dish called Arroz de Gandules. It is Puerto Rico’s national dish. If you are interested in trying it, see the Food Network link below. Give this legume a try and let us know what you think!