Comfort food! That’s what this dish, split peas and rice with pigtail, is all about. Pickled pigtail has always been a staple in my diet while growing up and yet, even though I could afford more expensive meats now, I still prefer to buy good ole pigtail. This is the stuff I grew up on, and can’t seem to let go.
Old Fashion Split Peas and Rice with Pigtail
So why pigtail you might ask? You see when finances were tight long ago, or it was close to month end you could always rely on this and other preserved meats like smoked bone, smoked herring and saltfish, to pull you through. They were easy to prepare meals that was well received by all in the family.
And they fit the situation perfectly: They lasted long whether in or out of the fridge; they were cheap ( relatively) and gave any dish their inherent flavour. You could make a nice bowl of smoke bone flavoured soup with provision and dumpling, dumpling and smoke herring or saltfish yam and smoke herring or my favourite bhaji rice with pigtail…the list goes on.
Then too coming to think of it, long time there wasn’t much refrigerators around, so people would have relied on these preserved meats. Which could be a possible explanation why there has been so many Trini recipes made with smoked bone, saltfish, smoked herring and of course pigtail.
Well, that’s just my theory! Anyhow, I hope you enjoy split peas and rice with pigtail. It is a Trini dish that’s dear to me and that I would eat no matter where life takes me. Here’s split peas and rice with pigtail.
Split Peas and Rice with Pigtail
SPLIT PEAS AND RICE WITH PIGTAIL
2 cups rice
1 cup split peas
½ pound pigtail
6 leaves chadon beni, chopped finely
1 tablespoon roucou
3 pimento peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 hot pepper
1 tablespoon coconut powder
2 tablespoons oil
salt to taste
Put the split peas to soak for 1 hour or overnight. Boil the rice and set aside.
Pressure cook the pigtail for 10 – 15 minutes and set aside.
Put the split peas to boil until soft. I looks good now.
Sauté the onion, garlic and pimento pepper. Add the pigtail and let cook for about 2 – 3 minutes.
Pour in the split peas, and add the roucou. Then add the roucou and the whole hot pepper. (Mostly, the roucou gaves the dish a wonderful lively appeal). If you don’t like hot pepper, you can use pimento, a milder pepper without the extreme heat.
Variation: You can add a teaspoon of saffron powder instead of the roucou if you want a stronger yellow colour.
Add the coconut powder and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
The split peas looks ready now; add salt to taste.
Note: What we’re looking for is semi thick consistency . Not too thick; not too watery. More like a cream soup.
Mix in the chadon beni.
The finished split peas with pigtail. Serve over rice.
Some facts about split peas:
Split peas is an amazing ingredients as it helps promote good digestive heatlh and cholesterol control. A cup of split peas has about 244 calories, 19 grams of protein, 2.7 milligrams of iron, and 750 milligrams of potassium.
Split peas cook well for soups, but can also be used in salads. You can also use bacon and ham in both dishes. They give the split peas a sweet flavour.
Don’t forget to leave your comment about split peas and rice with pigtail in the comment box below.