Today’s veggie recipe: green pigeon peas in coconut

Thickened peas  with a drizzle of coconut cream ready to serve

Thickened peas with a drizzle of coconut cream ready to serve

Pulses are a great addition to your diet. Beans, peas and lentils all fall under the category of pulses. Why are they such a great addition? For one, they are cheap and can really stretch out your hard earned cash! They contain protein, dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which may help in reducing disease and certain types of cancers. Pulses are also great steamed, for those on weight management.

For this recipe, we are making a common food a little richer with the addition of Coconut. If you are lucky to live in an area with access to fresh coconuts, by all means, use that and skip the canned variety! Simply pulverize the white coconut meat with some water and make your own coconut milk/cream. For the rest, use the can for this once-in-a-while treat! Coconut is high in fat but it also aids in brain health and satiety (feeling full longer) so it is beneficial to add to your diet in small amounts. In the traditional version of this recipe an extra can of coconut cream is used but I feel you can still appreciate the taste with this “lighter” version. Try it with steamed rice, or on wholemeal toast for a filling breakfast!


Cast of characters green pigeon peas in coconut

Cast of characters green pigeon peas in coconut

1 cup green pigeon peas, soaked overnight

1 Medium Red Onion, diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tsp Turmeric

½ Tsp Salt, or more to taste

1 -2 green chilies (optional)

​2​ Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

1 Can Coconut Milk


Boil green pigeon peas until tender

Boil green pigeon peas until tender

  1. Soak the pigeon peas overnight in cool tap water
  2. Boil/Steam the peas in water until soft. Drain the water and add the can of coconut milk ​(reserve 3 Tbsp) ​and simmer, covered, over low heat. The mixture will thicken and coat the peas so avoid stirring the pot but just make sure the bottom doesn’t scorch!
  3. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and add the onions, turmeric and salt. Turn down the heat to low and let the onions cook until they are nicely caramelized. Add the minced garlic in the last couple of minutes. At this point, I normally add a split green chili and set aside.
  4. When most of the coconut milk has been absorbed by the peas, add the onion mixture and stir. If your peas are still too watery, simmer for a few more minutes then take off the heat​. If your beans are too dry, you may add some water to thin out the sauce to your liking.​
  5. Serve with the reserved 3 Tbsp Coconut drizzled on top just before serving. This can be eaten as a soup or with steamed rice. I also love to squeeze a fresh cut lemon over the top for a little zing!​T