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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Pigeon Peas and Rice Recipe
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    Pigeon Peas and Rice

    Pigeon Peas and Rice. Photo by mersaydees

    1/1 Photo of Pigeon Peas and Rice

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    1 hr 45 mins

    15 mins

    1 hr 30 mins

    mersaydees's Note:

    Based on a recipe from Heidi Haughy Cusick’s book, Soul and Spice, African Cooking in the Americas. This book is chock-filled with Caribbean, Bahia Brazilian, and Louisiana Creole recipes. She says, “This Caribbean mainstay is found on all the islands in a variety of forms. Sometimes it is cooked with pork; other times it is prepared with water, onions, and salt. The peas can also be cooked with coconut milk, and garlic, tomatoes, and green onions can be added. Curry power is another option. And the hot habanero (Scotch Bonnet) chile is optional. Pigeon peas are native to Africa and resemble black-eyed peas. They are pale yellow and have a small “eye”. In the West Indies, pigeon peas also go by goongoo, Congo, and gungo peas. The peas’ earthy flavor is wonderful; when these legumes are combined with rice the resulting texture is a mouthful to behold. In Cuba red beans and rice are called congri. A dish of black beans and rice on the island is called Moros y Christianos, for Moors and Christians. Cook time doesn’t include soaking the peas overnight. When I tried this, I added 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke along with smoked bacon in place of ham hocks (couldn't find) and our guests and we loved it! Nice backdrop to any dish that suggests a rice accompaniment.

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    Units: US | Metric

    • 2 1/2 cups dried pigeon peas, rinsed and picked over (1 pound, black-eyed peas can be substituted)
    • 8 cups water or 6 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
    • 1/2 lb ham hocks, cut into 2-inch pieces (to reduce the saltiness of the ham hocks, you may first par-boil them in enough water to cover for 3) or 1 turkey neck, whole smoked or 3 -4 pigs tails
    • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 fresh habanero peppers (Scotch Bonnet) or 1 pickled habanero peppers (Scotch Bonnet) or 1 1/2 teaspoons red hot pepper sauce (Papa Joe's brand Scotch Bonnet red hot-pepper sauce recommended)
    • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed and drained
    • salt
    • ground black pepper


    1. 1
      Place pigeon peas in bowl and cover with several inches extra water; soak overnight. Drain.
    2. 2
      In a large, heavy saucepan, combine drained pigeon peas with water (or water and coconut milk). Bring to the boil and add the ham hocks, onion, 1 clove of the garlic, and the chile. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer, uncovered, until the peas are tender, about 45 minutes.
    3. 3
      Stir in the rice; reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, another 20-30 minutes. About 5 minutes before the rice is tender, add the last garlic clove to the pot by squeezing it through a garlic press.
    4. 4
      Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and red-hot sauce, if using, and serve.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on May 26, 2009


      Excellent!! I just wish I had started sooner and/or had more patience because the peas were a bit, ummm....el dente. But a VERY tasty dish nonetheless. I am very bad at following directions & I cooked the peas in water until almost soft w/the ham hock, onion & jalapeno while I cooked the rice in the rice cooker. At the end, I added the rice, coconut milk, garlic, s & p. Cooked for a few minutes & served it up. YUM! Made for the Kitchen Witches ZWT5! :)

      person found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on August 04, 2013


      This turned out great. After reading Elmo's review I started very early this morning with soaking the peas and cooking the lg frozen ham hock. I'm glad that I picked up coconut milk when shopping for this round of ZWT 9. This is really hot (for me..I might not try Scorch Bonnet, lol again) but so good! I just followed the recipe and got a dish that seems very authentic.

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No


    Nutritional Facts for Pigeon Peas and Rice

    Serving Size: 1 (512 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 6

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 473.9
    Calories from Fat 14
    Total Fat 1.6 g
    Saturated Fat 0.3 g
    Cholesterol 0.0 mg
    Sodium 24.5 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 93.4 g
    Dietary Fiber 13.8 g
    Sugars 1.2 g
    Protein 22.2 g

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