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"Bahamian Pigeon peas and rice recipe"

Ultimate Pigeon Peas and Rice Recipe: A Delicious Culinary Delight!

Ultimate Bahamian Pigeon Peas and Rice Recipe – A Delicious Culinary Delight!

The Bahamian pigeon peas and rice recipe is a staple dish in every Bahamian diet. We serve it alongside fried fish, steamed fish, crack conch, and chicken. This dish is simple to make yet bursting with flavor, and perfect for a family meal or a casual gathering with friends.

This Bahamian Pigeon Peas and Rice staple is simple and easy to prepare! This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to make it with added tips.

This Bahamian Pigeon Peas and Rice recipe is a favorite rice dish. Found on every Bahamian table, it’s a requirement at any dinner or celebration. It is also one of the easiest Bahamian dishes to prepare. It is seasoned with garlic, salt, bouillon cube, tomato paste, thyme, and salt.

Guess what, people? Bahamian Pigeon Peas and Rice can be considered a very healthy dish, but to make it genuinely vegan, leave out the bacon. There are many ways to prepare it, so check out my notes below and have fun exploring our culture to learn more about its origins.

It’s difficult giving exact instructions for this Pigeon Peas and Rice recipe because every household has so many variations that can change the cooking time or quantities needed. Use my instructions as a guideline. Can pigeon peas and soaked pigeon peas give you different cook times? 

Can Pigeon peas are usually more significant than the uncooked peas you soak?  Take note of your ingredients and enjoy.

Let your creativity go! You can bet your bottom dollar that every Bahamian mother or grandmother has a different variation!

 

"pigeon peas and rice with spoon, sauce and veg in the background"
Bahamian Pigeon peas and rice

 

Key Ingredient Notes:

  • White rice – Bahamians often use long-grain white rice to make pigeon peas and rice. Parboiled Rice or Jasmine rice can also be used.
  • Pigeon Peas – dried peas are traditionally used to make Bahamian Pigeon Peas and Rice recipes, but you can also use canned or freshly picked and shelled off the tree. Be sure to soak dried beans for at least 3 to 8 hours or overnight. More significant and darker pigeon peas will give the dish a darker brown, almost black color.
  • Aromatics and Herbs – This recipe combines garlic, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and seasoning salt.
  • Veggies – you can use sweet or regular white onions and tomatoes.  Any color of bell peppers works in this recipe.
  • Thyme – Fresh gives the best flavor, but you can use dried.
  • Seasonings – bouillon in the powdered or cubed beef, chicken, or vegetable. Tomato paste.
  • Scotch Bonnet Pepper (optional)– Some Bahamian households add scotch bonnet peppers to their Pigeon Peas and Rice recipe to ensure that it is whole, uncut, and unbruised to extract the flavor from the skin without the spiciness, as most of the heat is around the seeds.
  • Scotch Bonnet is one of the hottest peppers in the world (10 to 50 times hotter than jalapeños), so handle them with care and wash your hands after using them. If you cannot find scotch bonnets, you can find habaneros or chili peppers.
  • Coconut Milk (optional) – can be made from scratch using dried coconut meat or unsweetened coconut flakes. Canned full-fat unsweetened coconut milk may also be used.
"Pigeon peas in shelled and unshelled"
Pigeon Peas

1. Soak the Peas if you’re using dried Pigeon Peas:

  • Presoak for 3 to 8 hours or overnight in double the amount of water.
  • Drain, rinse, and add to a pot or pressure cooker.
  • Fill the pot with enough fresh water to ensure the level is 1 inch above the peas. Cover with a lid.
  • Cook at high heat for one hour in a pot (adding more water if needed to maintain the level) or 15 minutes in a pressure cooker. The peas should be tender but not crunchy or mushy.

2. Fresh shell of the tree Pigeon Peas:

  • Presoak for 1 hour so the spoiled peas can float to the top of the water.
  • Drain, rinse, and add to a pot or pressure cooker.
  • Fill the pot with enough fresh water to ensure the level is 1 inch above the peas. Cover with a lid.
  • Cook at high heat for one hour in a pot (adding more water if needed to maintain the level) or 15 minutes in a pressure cooker. The peas should be tender but not crunchy or mushy.

3. Prepare the broth for the rice:

  • In a large pot, heat the cooking oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and sauté until translucent. Add the diced bell pepper and tomato to the pot, and cook for a few minutes until they soften.
  • Stir in the curry powder, thyme, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and tomato paste. Drain and rinse the pigeon peas, then add them to the pot.
  • Pour in the water, add a bouillon cube, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. Check the seasonings.  Add salt if necessary.

4. Wash and add the rice:

  • Add the rice to a large bowl and fill it with water. 
  • Stir to release the starches that could make the rice stick together while cooking. Drain.
  • Repeat the rinsing and draining steps until the water is clear (about 4 to 5 times total).
  • Once the broth is ready, add the drained rice to the pot. Add more water if needed to ensure the level is 1 inch above the rice.
  • Cover the pot with the lid.
  • Allow the rice to cook and steam for 12 to 15 minutes or until it’s tender and all the liquid is absorbed.
  • Allow it to rest for 10 minutes after cooking. Remove the scotch bonnet pepper if you added it before gently stirring with a fork.

Storage :

I suggest only storing it in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. For more extended storage, place in the freezer in airtight containers for up to a month.

If you added coconut milk, I suggest storing it in the fridge for no more than 2 days.

Portion into individual containers for easier defrosting and reheating. Defrost in the fridge or microwave.

Can I make Bahamian Pigeon Peas and Rice recipe in an Instant Pot?

Sure, you can make Pigeon Peas and rice in the Instant Pot. Use the “Beans” setting to cook the presoaked peas and the “Rice” setting to complete the dish’s cooking after adding the rice. Check out the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

Where did pigeon peas and rice recipe originate from?

Pigeon peas and rice originated from Africa and are commonly associated with Caribbean, Latin American, and South Asian cuisines.

Favorites to enjoy with Bahamian Pigeon Peas and Rice:

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Bahamian Pigeon peas and rice recipe with Coconut Milk:

Here is the most popular variation of this Bahamian classic.  I particularly like the original version, but many Bahamian love this sweet tropical flavor added to their rice. The taste can be described as salty and sweet, which many have fallen in love with.
"Canned Pigeon Peas in coconut milk"
Pigeon Peas in Coconut Milk

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pigeon peas (soaked overnight) or 1 can of pigeon peas
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 can of coconut milk or freshly squeezed
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 tomato (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • scotch bonnet
  • Fresh parsley(for garnish, optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, heat the cooking oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and sauté until translucent.
  2. Add the diced bell pepper and tomato to the pot, and cook for a few minutes until they soften.
  3. Drain and rinse the soaked pigeon peas, then add them to the pot. Stir in the curry powder, thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  5. Add the white rice to the pot and stir well to combine it with the other ingredients.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the rice cook for about 20 minutes or until it becomes tender and fully cooked.
  7. Once the rice is done, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit covered for a few minutes.
  8. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.
  9. Serve the delicious pigeon peas and rice with coconut milk as a main dish or a side to complement your favorite meat or vegetable dishes. Enjoy!

Note: You can customize this Bahamian Pigeon peas and rice recipe by adding spices or vegetables according to your preference.

 

Pigeon Peas and Rice Recipe:

Bahamian Pigeon Peas and Rice

This Bahamian Pigeon Peas and Rice staple is simple and easy to prepare!
By:
  • 4 July 2023
  • 6
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 390 Cals/Serving
  • Print this
Untitled design 72
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pigeon peas (soaked overnight)
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 tomato (diced)
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1teaspoon onion powder
  • 5 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Fresh parsley (for garnish, optional)
Directions
Step 1
In a large pot, heat the cooking oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and sauté until translucent.
Step 2
Add the diced bell pepper and tomato to the pot, and cook for a few minutes until they soften.
Step 3
Drain and rinse the soaked pigeon peas, then add them to the pot. Stir in the curry powder, thyme, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and tomato paste.
Step 4
Pour in the water, add a bouillon cube, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. Check the seasonings. Add salt if necessary.
Step 5
Add the white rice to the pot and stir well to combine it with the other ingredients.
Step 6
Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the rice cook for about 20 minutes or until it becomes tender and fully cooked.
Step 7
Once the rice is done, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit covered for a few minutes.
Step 8
Fluff the rice with a fork before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
Step 9
Serve the delicious pigeon peas and rice as a main dish or a side to complement your favorite meat or vegetable dishes. Enjoy!
Step 10
Note: You can customize this recipe by adding coconut milk, spices, or vegetables according to your preference.

Calories: 344kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 308mg, Potassium: 493mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 58IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 50mg, Iron: 4mg

Disclaimer: Although Landseameals.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the purchased brand, and other unforeseeable ways. Landseameals.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting from your reliance on nutritional information. Please consult your doctor first if you need to follow a specific caloric regimen.

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If you enjoyed this Bahamian Pigeon peas and rice recipe, take a look at these:

  1. Caribbean Rice and Beans Recipe – Link
  2. Trinidadian Pigeon Peas and Rice Recipe – Link
  3. Indian-style Pigeon Peas and Rice Recipe – Link
  4. Dominican Rice and Pigeon Peas Recipe – Link
  5. Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe – Link

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