A couple of years ago, Dani and I made the trek to Atlanta from Little Rock so she could take the clinical skills part of STEP 2. I lived in Auburn, AL for five years and in all those years I never made it to the DeKalb County Farmers' Market.
I was so missing out.
We saw something on PBS about how the Market helps non-native folks learn English and gives them a job while they learn. That's pretty cool, if you ask me.
One of our finds there (there were so many! If you are ever driving through stop and have lunch there where you can pick and choose from their huge hot and cold bars) was the Pigeon Pea. I bought a package and we've been hooked ever since. Pigeon Peas (AKA gandule, gunga, no-eye pea, and toor dal) are round, firm, and fragrant. Here's what I did with them last night.
Pigeon Peas and Coconut Rice
1 cup of Pigeon Peas, rinsed and picked over*
3 cups of vegetable stock
5 green onions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup brown basmati rice
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger powder
2-3 Tablespoons of "no-chicken" broth powder
1 cup of coconut milk (see my tutorials for how I make my own. You can use canned).
1-2 minced jalapeno or serrano peppers**
Put your peas and vegetable broth in your pressure cooker. I let mine cook for 30 minutes at pressure. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the cooking broth. In your pressure cooker, throw in the drained peas, the rice, spices, and onions & garlic. Add the coconut milk to the reserved broth and add that in to the cooker. I then cooked it all together using the brown rice setting (which is pressure for about 25 minutes).
*I used my magical pressure cooker. If you are cooking this on the stovetop, soak the peas overnight or use the hot-soak method. Drain the soaking water, and cook the peas until tender and then drain them reserving the liquid and proceed, adding them to your rice pot before cooking. The measurements for everything should work on the stove.
** I had some diced hot Hatch chiles I needed to use, so that's what went in my batch. If you don't like heat, you could get a can of chopped green chiles and use those. The heat level is up to you.
I served this with one of my favorite ways to use kale: Massaged Kale Salad with Mango. I only used 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and the juice of a lemon for two bunches of kale from the farmer's market (and no sweetener beyond the mango juice I squeezed from the skins). I also put in two mangoes. I got it a bit salty, but it worked well with the Pigeon Peas.
Angel lives in Camden, Arkansas where she writes stuff and sometimes sends it out to other people to read. She used to grade papers, but not anymore. Check out her main site to see what she's up to lately.