Gungo Peas also known as Pigeon peas are a popular legume throughout most of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The name Gungo may have come from a misnomer to designate the Congo where these beans were found by European Colonialists who settled in the Caribbean. Regardless of their name these peas are a major source of protein, vitamins and minerals. In this recipe we will show you how to cook Jamaican Gungo Peas and Rice, a common dish during the Christmas season. The Gungo Peas provide an earthy and nutty flavor complimented by the local herbs, seasonings, spices and coconut milk. This recipe is great for our vegan and vegetarian followers who are interested in experiencing some Caribbean flavors. However, if you’re a fan of Jamaican cuisine this dish is perfect alongside any Jerk meat.
- Using a large saucepan or stockpot, place on medium heat and add the oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, thyme, and seasoning peppers and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
- While the seasonings are cooking, strain, wash and rinse the peas from the can and then add to the sautéing vegetables and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Wash and strain the rice and then mix into the peas and seasoning mixture along with the milk, then raise the heat to be high and bring to a boil.
- Once the pot begins to boil, turn it down to low, cover, and let cook for 15-20 minutes, or follow rice cooking instructions.
- When the rice has absorbed all the liquid and there is a light crackling sound, turn off the heat and leave covered for 5-10 minutes, this will allow the rice to steam and absorb any remaining moisture and become more fluffy.
- After the rice has steamed, serve warm on its own or with your choice of side dish.