The Pretend Chef

Pigeon Pea in Coconut Milk (fiofio)

Pigeon pea in coconut milk served with Nigerian tomato stew

Pigeon pea is a species of beans and is grown and eaten in most parts of the world now. It has a high nutritional value, rich in protein, minerals, vitamins and lipids and is a wholesome food for both vegetarians and weight watchers. Pigeon pea can be cooked at different stages of maturity, the immature green peas, the dry mature peas or even sprouted peas. 

Variously called Fiofio, Otili or Aduwa in Nigeria and Gungo peas, red gram, no-eye pea etc. in other parts of the world. At the mention of dry mature Pigeon peas, what immediately comes to mind is the length of time it takes to cook it, then you remember how absolutely tasty it is.

It can be cooked and stir-fried with onions and palm oil like my Fiofio(Pigeon peas) dish. Pigeon pea can also be cooked in coconut milk for a rich flavour. Though this recipe is neither East African nor Caribbean, cooking pigeon peas in coconut milk is kind of an East African and Caribbean thing. I just had leftover coconut milk and boiled pigeon peas in the freezer, so this recipe happened and it turned out really splendid. 

coconut milk for Pigeon pea in coconut milk-

To cook Pigeon pea (Fiofio) in Coconut milk

2 cups Pigeon pea (Fiofio)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 scotch bonnet, chopped (fresh pepper)
2 seasoning cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk

Pick out any grits and dirt from the Pigeon pea (fiofio).

Wash and drain.

Place in a bowl and cover with water.

Leave to soak for 6-8 hours or overnight.

If you are using a pressure pot, then there will be no need for a presoak.

Pigeon pea soaking in water

Drain the soaking liquid and place pigeon peas in a pot.

Add about 6 cups of water and boil till the peas are tender and the water has been absorbed. (Add extra water if needed).

Take one seed and crush between your fingers to check how soft it is.

Add garlic, scotch bonnet, seasoning cubes and coconut milk, taste for salt.

Cook over medium low heat till the coconut milk has been absorbed. 

Pigeon pea in coconut milk boiling

Serve your Pigeon peas with Nigerian tomato stew or Palm oil tomato stew and yam, plantain, rice, sweet potatoes etc.


  • When you add coconut milk, it is important to lower the heat to avoid burning.
  • You can also add the Nigerian tomato stew with coconut milk.
  • Use any green salad as a side to your pigeon peas.

Pigeon pea in coconut milk served with Nigerian tomato stew

You will also enjoy my Fiofio (Pigeon peas)Achicha (Dry cocoyam), Adalu (Beans and corn porridge), Jamaican rice and peas and Ukwa porridge (African breadfruit porridge).

Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below. 

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