Mbaazi Wa Nazi (Pigeon Peas in Coconut Milk)

READY IN: 1hr 5mins
Recipe by Elmotoo

Mbaazi wa Nazi (Pigeon Peas with Coconut) are the Swahili way to prepare this popular tropical pulse. The pigeon pea is evidently native to Africa or Asia. In Egypt, the cultivation of pigeon peas began before 2000 B.C. Today pigeon peas are widely cultivated in all tropical and semi-tropical regions the world over, and are especially popular in India and the Caribbean.

Top Review by FLKeysJen

The fresh jalapeno makes this dish! Using a 15 oz can of pigeon peas, I skipped steps #1 and #2. Basically I quartered the recipe, using half a cup of coconut milk and half an onion but based on other reviews used BOTH 1/2 tsp curry powder and 1/2 tsp turmeric for the quarter recipe. Flavorful and colorful!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 453.59 g dried pigeon peas (or black-eyed peas, yellow-eyed peas, cowpeas, picked over for stones, cleaned, soaked overnight, an)
  • 473.18-709.77 ml coconut milk
  • oil
  • 1-2 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, cleaned and chopped
  • 4.92 ml curry powder (or turmeric)
  • salt, to taste


  1. In a large pot, combine pigeon peas and just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the peas begin to become tender and most of the water is absorbed.
  2. Stir in 1 1/2c coconut milk. Continue to simmer over low heat. Add more water as necessary to prevent the peas from becoming dry.
  3. While peas are simmering: Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add the curry powder to the oil and stir for a minute. Fry the onion and chile pepper until they are tender.
  4. Combine the peas and onion-chile mixture (add either one to the other). Continue to simmer until peas are tender enough to eat. Add the remaining coconut milk and simmer on the lowest possible heat for five to ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve "Swahili style" with Chapati (Basic Chapati Recipe #137408), rice, or "up-country style" with Ugali.

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