Nutty in flavor, pigeon peas are a staple in Caribbean, Indian and African cuisine. Learn how to quickly make dried pigeon peas in your Instant Pot, no soaking required.
🧄 Ingredient notes
To cook dried pigeon peas in the Instant Pot, you'll need:
- dried pigeon peas (aka whole toor)
- bay leaf
- sea salt
First, sort through your dried peas and remove any debris or peas that don't look good.
Then, put your peas in the Instant Pot stainless steel pot. Add water and swish it around with your hand to wash the peas.
Drain as much water as you can. Repeat.
Then, add 5 cups of fresh water and one bay leaf.
Place insert into Instant Pot, close the lid and close the vent to "Sealing".
Cook the pigeon peas for 40 minutes on high pressure or the "Beans" setting.
Add salt, to taste. Start with 1 teaspoon and go from there.
Your pigeon peas are ready to be used for any recipe you'd like! I've listed some ways you can use them below.
👨👩👦👦 Serving suggestions
- Jamaican Rice and Pigeon Peas (pictured below)
- Add to grain bowls, wraps or salads, like you would lentils
- Serve to kids as a snack
- Finger food for toddlers
- Puree with spices into a dip
- Make bean burgers, substituting pigeon peas for black beans
- Cook in curry sauce and serve with rice
- Because of their nutty, minty flavor, these would be delicious with Middle Eastern or Moroccan dishes
How long does it take to cook pigeon peas in the Instant Pot?
40 minutes, no soaking required. It does take a few minutes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure. Start to finish, you'll have cooked pigeon peas in under one hour.
What do pigeon peas taste like?
Pigeon peas have a nutty, almost minty flavor.
How should I store cooked pigeon peas?
Store cooked pigeon peas with their broth (the broth is an important ingredient for Jamaican rice and peas!) in a plastic or glass container.
How long will they last?
In the refrigerator, pigeon peas will last 3-5 days.
In the freezer, pigeon peas will last up to 6 months.
To use pigeon peas frozen in their broth, transfer to the refrigerator the day before you plan to use them. Or, defrost in the microwave.
To use pigeon peas frozen loose, without their broth, just toss them in whatever recipe you're using. No need to thaw before hand. They will thaw quickly while you cook them, just like frozen green peas.
More recipes you may like
- Jamaican Rice and Pigeon Peas (vegan) - A spicy 30-minute meal full of Caribbean flavor, this easy Jamaican rice and pigeon peas recipe will transport you to the islands. An exciting addition to your "rice and beans" repertoire.
- Instant Pot Kidney Beans (no soak, vegan) - make these Cajun red kidney beans and serve with rice and French bread for a vegan Louisiana red beans and rice!
- Vegan Spicy Charro Beans in the Crockpot - you can adjust the spice level on these beans according to your preference. A flavorful addition to any TexMex meal.
🗺 Cultural influences
Pigeon peas are also known as toor, gandules, gungo peas, Angola peas or Congo peas.
They are eaten throughout the Caribbean, India, Latin America and Africa. I buy them at an Indian grocery store or in the international foods section of a well-stocked grocery store.
I was first introduced to them through a Jamaican friend, when she shared her Jamaican rice and peas recipe with me.
Fresh from the garden, they are bright green and can even been eaten raw. When dried, they turn a gray slate color. When cooked, they are a medium brown color.
Instant Pot Pigeon Peas (no soak, vegan)
- Instant Pot pressure cooker
- Sort through dried pigeon peas and discard any debris or bad peas. Add remaining peas to Instant Pot removeable insert.
- Add water and swish/agitate the peas with your hands to wash them. Drain as much water as you can into the sink. Repeat.
- Add 5 cups of fresh water and one bay leaf to the peas.
- Place insert in the Instant Pot. Cover with lid and close the valve to "Sealing".
- Press the "Beans" or "Manual" setting and increase time to 40 minutes. The Instant Pot will beep several times to tell you it's working.
- When they're done (the Instant Pot will beep several times and switch to the "Keep Warm" setting), carefully quick release the pressure, using a long wooden spoon. Be careful not to burned by the escaping steam.
- Remove lid and add salt, to taste.
- Be sure to reserve the flavorful broth, so you can use it in making Jamaican pigeon peas and rice.