A hearty side dish that can be paired with a meat or eaten as a vegetarian dish.
I love stewed peas. Or "stew peas" as we call it. I don't know why pigeon peas are such a sweet peas and therefore makes for a great dish.
Stewed peas in general, is a popular Caribbean dish, but the peas used varies across the islands. It is is an integral part of Sunday lunch and is one of those dishes that you know is just going to be "sweet" and satisfying when you eat it.
Stewed pigeon peas is a great side dish that can be eaten alone if you are vegetarian or is great paired with the main meat dish.
Man, I remember the days of having to shell fresh peas. We had pigeon peas trees. I still have memories of my mom being lost in the peas trees picking the peas off and buckets being filled. It's also not even uncommon to get peas from your neighbor. And I don't mean 5 or 10 peas, I mean buckets and bags of peas, where you have to set aside half a day to sit behind a bucket to shell these peas to put them to freeze.
Peas shelling time was torture. Everyone tried to avoid it as much as possible. Unfortunately, to get to these sweet peas, it has to be shelled. I mean, what would we do if we had no peas to make pelau? Fortunately for me though, we now have the convenience of canned pigeon peas, which cuts down the cooking time tremendously. You can use either green or brown pigeon peas but I much prefer using brown.
Traditionally this dish is also cooked with salt meat, specifically pigtails, but since I don't eat pigtails I've substituted it for smoked turkey wings that I got cut up at my meat store. If you are a fan of the pig you can just substitute my smoked turkey for pigtails. And if you are vegetarian, you can easily leave out the meat totally.
The flavor in this is an earthy, sweetness that pairs well with rice for a great weekday dinner. Or even dumplings. Then for Sunday lunch it is often joining the line up with stewed chicken, macaroni pie, fresh salad and some kind of drink like mauby or peanut punch. The ideal Sunday lunch!!
Just the thought of preparing this for lunch had me excited. Stewed peas bring me joy. A joy that makes me sing!!
I remember the last time I shared a recipe with pigeon peas, someone asked what it was, have you ever had pigeon peas? Let me know in the comments.
yield: Serves 4 - 6
Easy Stewed Pigeon Peas
An easy "how to" recipe for stewed pigeon peas using tin pigeon peas and cooked with smoked turkey.
prep time: 20 MINScook time: 40 MINStotal time: 60 mins
- 2 tins of canned pigeon peas (30 oz)
- 1 lb smoked turkey bones (substitute with pigtails, cooked ham or omit)
- 3 cups coconut milk
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 3/4 pound pumpkin
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Cooking oil
- Have your butcher cut up smoked turkey wings into small pieces and remove skin and meat from bones. Discard skin and chop up meat into small pieces
If using salted meat: Soak meat then cut into small pieces
- Open, drain and rinse peas out twice
- Heat a heavy bottom pan and fry crushed garlic
- Add peas, pumpkin, meat, thyme, tomatoes and coconut milk, and sugar
- Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until peas become soft and pumpkin is cooked
- Season for salt and pepper
Check out some other recipes that make me sing:
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