Stew Pigeon Peas and Rice

A Garden of Pigeon Peas

Pigeon peas (Cajanus cajan) is widely grown in Trinidad and Tobago. I could remember well, going to the garden to pick peas with my mother and uncle…. The tall trees were laden with peas waiting to be picked. They were a beauty to look at; a sea of green, red and yellow hues that swayed in the wind in unison. The boughs drooped under the weight of firm, fat peas and still more flowers were in between, ready to produce the next crop. The sweet fragrance of the flowers lingered in the surrounding air for a while before being carried off by the lazy breeze. The bees would be busy also, buzzing and darting here and there looking for the next nectar rush, unknowingly playing their vital part in pollinating the flowers. The garden was alive with the sound of mother nature at work……
stew pigeon peas and riceStew Pigeon Peas and Rice with lettuce

Harvesting Pigeon Peas

Picking the peas was a task in itself because the garden was on a steep incline, but I think the hardest task was to tote a full bag of peas down the hill. Of course the trees would have ants on them at times and you would be stung on your hands, but it did not matter because all you were thinking of, is to full the bags because we caught the market at the right time and the peas was fetching a good price, wholesale and retail.

Cooking with Pigeon Peas

As you can see, this peas forms an integral part in our cooking. The pigeon pea is traditionally grown in time to be harvested for Christmas or in some cases Carnival. The main reason I could see for the planting of this crop in time for the Christmas season, is that stewed pigeon peas is usually prepared for the Christmas meal as a side dish. Perhaps you could say that it is another dish that represents Christmas in Trinidad and Tobago, together with the pastelles and ginger beer etc.

Stew Pigeon Peas and Rice Recipe

This peas is also a key ingredient in our famous dish Pelau; to some, a good pelau must have pigeon peas, not red bean or black eyed peas but this could be a hot debate. From my experience it also tastes nice curried with a little coconut milk, similar to the curry lentil peas I posted a while back. Anyway here’s stew pigeon peas straight from the tree and not a can. Enjoy!

 

STEW PIGEON PEAS AND RICE

1 lb. chicken (chopped and seasoned)
2 cups pigeon peas (fresh)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic
1 onion
2 leaves big leaf thyme
2 leaves chadon beni
2 sprig chive
salt to taste
water

 

 

Freshly picked pigeon peas is always the best.

(we call this one nine-grain pigeon peas)

 

Shell and wash the pigeon peas.

Pressure cook the pigeon peas for about 20 minutes.
Chop the onion, garlic and other herbs and set aside.

 

In a deep pot, heat the sugar.
…until it melts
pay attention to the colour while it is caramelizing.
When the sugar looks golden brown add the seasoned meat.

 

Stir the meat until it is evenly coated with the sugar.

 

Add the onion and the rest of the seasoning.

 

Mix thoroughly again.
Add water. Leave to simmer until the meat cooks.

 

When the meat is cooked add the pigeon peas and a little water.
Mix well and allow to simmer for another 15 minutes.

Add salt to taste.

 

The pigeon peas and chicken looks ready. Serve hot over rice.
That’s all for now; see you soon.
Don’t forget to leave your comment on this stew pigeon peas and rice recipe in the comment box below.

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5 Responses to Stew Pigeon Peas and Rice

  1. Cynthia January 21, 2009 at 4:47 am #

    Boy I admire your patience. I usually buy my fresh pigeon peas already shelled.

    This dish you made is one of my favourite Trini dishes to eat.

  2. simplytrinicooking.com January 22, 2009 at 1:56 am #

    Other than patience, I find it a bit therapeutic !:)

  3. Joie de vivre January 28, 2009 at 11:39 pm #

    When I first read the title of your post, I read, “Stewed Pigeon” I was looking and looking at your photo wondering…it all makes sense now reading your recipe. :)

  4. Fulham May 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    Can you make these printable ?? add a print icon ??

  5. Felix May 24, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    I’m in the process of making the pages printable but the coding is taking some time. Thanks for the comment.

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