In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Curry pigeon peas with potato.

curry pigeon peas recipe (8)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.

You’ll need…

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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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  1. Ralph Price
    April 20, 2019 / 7:10 am

    Hi Chris,
    Me again! I have never eaten pigeon peas; we didn’t eat it in Belize or at least I had never heard of anyone preparing them. I will try your recipe. My mouth is watering just thinking about it, or as we used to say in Belize, “mi baaba di run”. Now I’ve got to try to find some canned peas or see if I can get some seeds to plant. Here in Louisiana we have a long planting season. We just moved on to some new property six months ago and I need to start getting some raised beds ready for planting. We’ve been having an excessive amount of rain and some unusually cold weather for this late in the season. I love reading your recipes; they take me back to my life in Belize and growing up in a home in which my mother was an excellent cook. My American wife used to love her cooking so now I prepare those same types of dishes in our home.

  2. Ralph Price
    April 20, 2019 / 6:56 am

    Hi Chris,
    Years ago I learned a valuable lesson from my mother. If a meal that you are preparing is too salty you can cube or slice a small/medium potato, (depends on how salty the food is) and add this to the dish and allow it to simmer for a few minutes. The potato will not mask the saltiness, it will actually absorb the excess salt. My mother taught me this technique many years ago when I was just starting to experiment in the kitchen and was complaining to her that I had over-salted the meal that I was preparing. I tried it and it worked! I then removed the extra potato and saved it for another meal.

  3. Pamela
    March 21, 2018 / 8:14 am

    Blessings>>> Mmmmmm!!! Yummy for my Tummy: My Big “7” Birthday is coming in May (Malcolm X) and I want this dish on my table to start “MY NEW YEAR at 70!!!” Reminds me of when me and MzO’T would go ‘pea pick’n!!!’ for the fresh peas… Chris, This recipe is delicious, even with the variations noted above from your other FANS! Love this online magazine… Pam

  4. chris
    October 13, 2015 / 6:45 am

    that will go good with sada roti

  5. FlyInTheOintment
    July 22, 2015 / 9:12 pm

    I have always added Auyama or a piece of acorn squash to the guandules and smashed squash up as it cooked to thicken it plus some ground white pepper about 1/2 teaspoon and some ground black pepper. I also use chicken bouillon cube instead of salt and never tried Cumin or Curry in my granduncles Otherwise this is like

  6. Faizal Khan
    June 1, 2015 / 9:10 am

    I would like to try it with the frozen pigeon peas we get in NY and add Coconut Milk.
    love the publication of so many different names Tannia goes by from Country to Country.In NY I believe it goes by Yautia for the most part.Nice work Chris keep it up.

  7. Monica
    March 5, 2015 / 8:17 am

    Hi Chris just loving your recipes I will try this pigeon peas & potato curry. I loving cooking curry

  8. carolyn
    February 13, 2015 / 9:17 am

    sounds good can’t wait to try it.your recipes are always good

  9. Wendy
    January 16, 2014 / 11:41 am

    i use the frozen pigeon peas. Goya carries it. It is better than the canned ones.

  10. Hylton Fernandes
    October 26, 2013 / 1:13 pm

    Hi Chris, In Guyana, my mother made cook up rice with pigeon Peas, Salt Beef and Salted Pig Tails. She also used freshly grated coconut milk and hot peppers. I would like to grow Pigeon Peas if I could get some dried peas. Last year I grew thick leaf Calaloo and I had more then enough to last me through the year after freezing it! Even though the planting season in Canada is short, you can grow food from the tropics but, you need to start your seeds in doors in March for optimum results. Thanks
    Hylton Fernandes

  11. Brenda
    August 24, 2013 / 10:02 pm

    I love your recipes Chris,simple and delicious,keep up the good work

  12. Elle
    June 11, 2013 / 3:09 pm

    Eddoes added to pigeon peas makes a good thickener also. It tastes oooh so yummy!

  13. eyeneva
    February 20, 2013 / 4:21 pm

    Just to let you know Foodl Baiscs has started bringing in fresh frozen pigeon peas… and they are awesome in this recipe!

  14. Paula
    June 3, 2012 / 8:03 am

    Thanks very much for the recipe. My family loved it. I used dried pigeon peas and a jalapeno pepper, both from my garden. In Miami we can find malanga in the grocery store, so I used that. I'm growing malanga, too, but it's not mature yet. Good recipe!

  15. Alicia Baptiste
    October 25, 2011 / 4:49 pm

    Hi just thought you would like to know that the frozen pigeon peas are just as great as the fresh ones, be sure to check that it's pigeon peas and not green peas you are buying though they look similar and it's found in the frozen foods section

  16. Vanessa Belcon
    October 2, 2011 / 8:29 am

    Isn't this something, i do curried pigeon peas all the time – especially in place of potatoes when i having my roti, but i have never done them together!!!
    Thanks Chris must try this one~~~

  17. Trini
    September 23, 2011 / 10:04 am

    Hi Chris,

    You throw in some coconut milk in this recipe and I guarantee you would eat your fingers too!!


  18. Gregory
    September 11, 2011 / 7:39 am

    Try using the liquid with the peas and put less salt in the recipe. Throwing the sauce and rinsing the peas you loose a lot of the flavour!

  19. Petra
    April 12, 2011 / 9:55 pm

    I will have to try this recipe. Somehow i have never had curry pigeon peas before. But I love pigeon peas and i definitely like curries – so i don't think you can go wrong with the combination. Thanks for sharing all your great recipes!!

  20. Yolande Dennie
    January 11, 2011 / 7:42 pm

    When I make curry pigeon peas, I use frozen green pigeon peas. Like you said nothing beats fresh green pigeon peas, but this is the closest I can get to fresh. To thicken I use 2 teaspoons of tomato ketchup, and I cook the peas in a pressure cooker to lessen the cooking time. I enjoy getting your emails, and do find some recipes I've not done before.

  21. Bhratulik
    October 6, 2010 / 8:29 am

    Cool! Thanks for the recipe. Here in Sudbury, I happened to find pigeon peas. Not really knowing what to do, I still got 2kg of the dry stuff! I will have to look more into what I can do with them. Thus far, I found a slow cooker on "low " ( thus about 100W rather than "hi" of 160W) makes the peas keep their shape. Looking forward to trying this recipe tonight!

  22. Ant
    August 23, 2010 / 12:52 am

    thanks for the VEGGIE recipe.
    Look delicious!!!

    ..keep them coming!

  23. yanique
    August 9, 2010 / 2:28 pm

    hey chris miss caribbean pot alot since i have been a way form the computer for awhile
    but this recipe is the shizzle
    will try it soon. big up everytime//

  24. Farah
    July 17, 2010 / 10:20 am

    I’ m going to make this today. Will it be enough for 9 ? Also do you think it will be good side to lime/ honey marinated pork loin roast?

    • July 17, 2010 / 11:00 pm

      You'll need to double the recipe to have enough for 9 people.

  25. Pamela
    May 8, 2010 / 10:37 pm

    Hey Chris,
    This is definitely one of my favorites. Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes.

    • June 17, 2010 / 3:45 am

      yes, this is a hit at our home as well.

  26. Erin Mason
    April 9, 2010 / 2:27 pm

    Chris ,
    I can't comment on how this tastes yet as I'm going to make it today as a side to go with my Calypso Chicken. I think the two will go great with each other.

    I did want to comment on the use of a potato as a thickener … sorta' … When I make potato soup I grate a potato and use it to thicken my soup. Works great. In other soups I like to use grated sweet potato. It thickens and adds a little sweetness.

    Peace …. Erin

    • June 17, 2010 / 3:45 am

      Do let me know your thoughts after you've had time to try it. thanks for the tip on grating the potato.

  27. October 8, 2009 / 9:02 am

    Re: Squeezle, Thanks a million. The very first time I dined at an Indian restaurant, was in Frankfurt and funny enough the waiter suggested one of the local beers.

    Do return and feel free to suggest other “beverages” when you have the time.

    happy cooking

    .-= Chris De La Rosa´s last blog ..How to make green Mango Chutney. =-.

  28. September 6, 2009 / 4:22 pm

    I most certainly can Chris! Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc all go very nicely with curried vegetable/seafood/white meat dishes. However, if you are serving this dish with beef or lamb or some other red meat, I would recommend Zinfandel. And of course, there’s always beer. You can’t go wrong with curry and a nice lager.

    .-= squeezle´s last blog ..Friday Night Wine Down : Vinho Verde =-.

  29. August 19, 2009 / 10:41 pm

    I made this for the first time tonight, hoping to have a bit left over for lunch at the office tomorrow. No such luck, every single scrap was devoured, every plate scraped, every pot-spoon licked.

    We took gluttony to a whole new level! So I’ll be sure to make a double-batch next time, and hopefully we won’t eat twice as much.
    .-= squeezle´s last blog ..Friday Night Wine Down : Vinho Verde =-.

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