The taste and texture is totally different than if you were lucky enough to have fresh picked and shelled pigeon peas, but that’s probably the only thing I’m yet to see selling in the Caribbean specialty stores… even in Toronto, so I have no choice but to use the stuff we get in the can. I must add also that if you were to use the fresh stuff this recipe would not work the way it is, as the cooking process for fresh pigeon peas is a bit different. Especially how long it would take to cook.
In my recipe not only am I using canned pigeon peas, but I’m also using a potato to help thicken the finished sauce. Traditionally when making curry pigeon peas potato would never be used, but instead “tannia” would be the thickener of choice.
1 can green pigeon peas
1 onion sliced (divided in 2 portions)
1 green onion chopped (scallions)
1 med potato cubed
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 slices hot pepper (habanero) optional
dash black pepper
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon roasted geera powder (cumin)
4-5 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups water
1 table spoon vegetable oil
1-2 leaves shado beni (optional) chopped fine.
1/4 teaspoon salt (check near complete to add more if required)
Start by preparing the ingedients. I usually drain and rinse the canned peas to remove the brine-like liquid it’s normally packaged in.
In a small bowl add the curry, geera, crushed garlic, black pepper and 1/2 of the sliced oinions. Then pour in about 4-5 tablespoons of water and mix. Heat the oil in a sauce pan and pour in the curry mixture we just made. Allow this to cook on med-high heat until all the liquid has dried up.
At this point get ready to add the peas, remaining onion, slices of pepper. potato wedges, scallion, salt and shado beni if you’ve decide to use it. Stir around so everything gets coated with the cooked curry.. about 3-5 minutes. Now Add the 1 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil then cover and let simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes (until potato is tender).
After the 20 minutes or so, use the back of your spoon to crush the potato to help thicken the sauce. Remove from the heat and get ready to serve. Remember to check near the end to see if your taste requires more salt. If for some reason you find that it’s a bit salty you can always add a diced tomato to help absorb some of the salty taste.
In the event you’re wondering what tannia is…
English: tannia, tania; yautia, new cocoyam tanier; Spanish: yautía, malanga (Antilles), macal (Mexico [Yucatán]), quiscamote (Honduras), tiquisque (Costa Rica), otó (Panama), okumo (Venezuela), uncucha (Peru), gualuza (Bolivia), malangay (Colombia); Portuguese: taioba, mangareto, mangarito, mangarás (Brazil); French: chou Caribe (Antilles); other languages: queiquexque (Mexico), tannia, taniera (Antilles)
* Be sure to leave me your comments below.