brown rice and pigeon peas- anti-cancer recipes- cook for your life

Brown Rice & Pigeon Peas

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Clock Icon for Prep Time 30 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 6 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 10 ingredients

This Brown Rice & Pigeon Peas is a whole grain version of the classic Caribbean dish. Cooking the rice in the pea broth gives it color and flavor. They are cooked with whole garlic...


  • 1 cup dried pigeon peas, washed and drained and soaked overnight
  • 4 cloves peeled  garlic divided
  • 1 bouquet garni (see Ann’s Tips for recipe)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice, washed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced

Nutrition Facts


208 cals


6 g

Saturated Fat

1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

1 g

Monounsaturated Fat

4 g


35 g


2 g


4 g


5 g


642 mg


  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. This can be done ahead of time.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy pan. Add the rice and cook stirring until well coated in oil and it is turning translucent round the edges. 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, mince the remaining 2 cloves of garlic. Heat the remaining olive oil in a heavy pot over a medium high flame. Add the minced garlic. When it starts to turn golden, about 1 minute, add the onion and shallots. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and sauté until they soften and start to color, about 5 minutes. Add the drained peas to the pan and cook until they start to get dry and crispy looking, about 5-8 minutes more. Add ½ the remaining pea broth and cook until evaporated and syrupy looking.
  5. When the rice is ready discard the thyme and mix together with the peas and shallots in a large bowl. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Chef Tips

To make the bouquet garni: take 2 sprigs flat leaf parsley, a sprig of thyme, a bay leaf,  1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns,  and 3 whole cloves, and tie together in cheesecloth.

The peas and broth can be cooked ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer until needed to cook the rice.

If you choose to use white rice, don’t add it to the peas in step 4. Cook it separately for 15 minutes, then instead of leaving it to steam in the pot, drain and add it to the peas just as they are just turning soft, about 25 minutes into cooking.

Registered Dietitian Approved

All our recipes are created by chefs and reviewed by our Registered Dietitian Kate Ueland, MS, RD, CSO, a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition, to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the  Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed.,  published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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