Pigeon peas go back at least 3000 years. Their origin is
thought to be most likely Asia. From there they traveled to East
Africa and then on to the American continent.
They have even been discovered in Egyptian
tombs, with dates going back to 2,200 and 2,400 BC.
Pigeon peas are also known as red gram,
Congo pea, and Congo bean.
Today pigeon peas are widely cultivated in all tropical and semi-tropical
regions of both the Old
and the New World. Pigeon peas are an important grain
crop of rain fed agriculture in the semi-arid tropics.
The three main pigeon pea
producing regions of the world are India, East Africa and Central
America. They are grown in more than 25 tropical and
They have a strong flavor, and are particularly popular
in the South and in the Caribbean.
5 Dahl Soup
3/4 c mung
3/4 c pigeon peas
3/4 c yellow split peas
3/4 c green split peas
3/4 c garbanzo beans
10 c water
3 T chicken broth
1 T turmeric
3 T coriander
2 T sliced ginger root,
3/4 c Ghee or clarified butter
1 T sea salt
4 oz fresh spinach
2 T whole cumin seeds
2 T minced green chilies
2 bay leaves
1/2 t. asafetida
1 t cayenne
2 t. garam marsala
2 T. coriander
Sort and wash legumes. Combine in
bowl and soak in hot water 1 hour. Drain.
Combine legumes with stock, turmeric,
coriander, ginger root and 1/4 c Ghee in large pot. Bring to boil
and reduce to simmer, cooking covered 1 1/2 hours. Stir
Remove from heat and add salt. Beat
soup with whisk until smooth. Add coarsely chopped spinach and cook
gently for about 10 min.
Heat remaining ghee. When hot add
cumin and chilies. Fry for 20 seconds then add bay, asafetida and
cayenne. Stir cooking a few seconds and add 1/2 c water. Cook
for a minute and pour into soup. Sprinkle with garam marsala and
coriander and serve.