The Pigeon Pea (Cajanus Indicus) is a native to Africa and the sweet flavor is now widely used throughout the Caribbean. Pigeon Peas are actually a bean. However, they are called peas due to their small size and shape. These beans are about 1/4" round, beige color with light brown speckles. The Pigeon Pea has a pungent flavor and mealy texture. Some color fades after beans have been cooked. They are also known as Toor Dal, Caja Pea, Congo Pea, Gandule and Goongoo pea. In the U.S., they are very popular in the south. They grow in long, twisted, fuzzy pods. Typically Pigeon Peas are used in dishes that combine beans with rice and are often seasoned with hot chiles. The slow-cooking nature of these beans (the tough skins require a long cooking time) allows for a rich, savory broth to be created.
Continental United States
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