Brown Rice & Pigeon Peas

This is a whole grain version of a classic Caribbean dish. Cooking the rice in the pea broth gives it color and flavor. You can cook rice in the broth from black or kidney beans too, as long as your beans are home made. 

Meal: Sides

Serves: 4

Prep: 30 - 45 min

Main Ingredient: Brown Rice

Top Tags: Brown Rice


  • 1 cup pigeon peas, washed and drained and soaked overnight
  • 2 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 bouquet garni (parsley, bay leaf, thyme, black peppercorns and cloves tied in cheesecloth)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice, washed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves


1. Put the peas into a saucepan with the whole garlic, bouquet garni, and water. Bring to a boil over a high heat. Partially cover the pan and lower heat to medium low. Cook until the peas are tender and look wrinkled, about 40 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Remove the bouquet garni and drain the peas over a large bowl. Reserve the pea broth. Set the peas and broth aside.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy pan. Add the rice and cook stirring until you hear it 'click' against the sides of the pan. Add 2 cups of the reserved pea broth, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and bring to a boil. Lay the spring of thyme over the rice, cover, and turn the heat down to low.  Cook for 40 minutes or until the broth is absorbed and the rice is “al dente.”

4. While the rice is cooking, heat the remaining olive oil in a heavy pot over a medium high flame. Add the garlic, and when it starts to turn golden, add the onion and shallots. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and sauté until they soften and start to color, about 5-8 minutes. Add the drained peas to the pan and cook until they start to get crispy, about 5-8 minutes. Add ½ pea broth and cook until evaporated.

5. When the rice is ready discard the thyme and mix with the pea mixture in a large bowl.  Taste for seasoning and serve.