Pigeon Pea

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A small, round off-white vegetable (legume) grown in a pod similar to a pea or bean. They have a delicious nutty flavor and can be used as an alternative to the lima bean. They are grown in warmer climates such as the southern U.S., the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East. They are eaten as a fresh green pea, picked when the pod is green or allowed to mature into a dried bean with a brown pod, and processed for ease of use and storage.

Pigeon Peas can be served in the same manner as green peas, combining them with other vegetables such as carrots and cauliflower. They require a cooking time slightly longer than garden peas and when eaten are not quite as sweet, due to a lower sugar content. Also, the Pigeon Peas have a higher starch content.

When selecting, if selected when fresh, look for those that have a velvety, smooth skin with even color, avoiding any that are pale, shriveled or have brown spots. Wrap in plastic and store in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator to keep fresh for up to two days. However, Pigeon Peas are also available split and dried, canned, and frozen. This variety of legume is also known as Congo bean, goongoo bean, grandule verde, and no-eyed pea.

USDA Nutrition Facts

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