Pigeon pea Caribbean salad recipe – Taste of the tropics this lunch time with this vegan style legume salad with mixed vegetables and a sweet lime dressing.
Now we’re really delving into some Caribbean flare with this pigeon pea salad. I’m sure you already know that I’d be on hand to provide the alternative name to gungo peas. In the Caribbean (English speaking islands) you’ll find these peas referred to as pigeon or congo peas.
Growing up gungo peas (pigeon peas) would make a regular appearance on Sundays, why on the weekend you may ask? Well because we’d rotate between rice and peas (technically red kidney beans) or gungo peas and rice. There was always a huge divide in the house, some of us were partial to red kidneys while myself and co enjoyed gungo peas and rice.
Growing up and eating pigeon peas/gungo peas
Mom would make a large batch of both variants and of course Charla was always there to gobble up the gungo peas. Aside from making gungo peas and rice on Sundays, we didn’t really incorporate them much in other recipes, at least not that I recall.
Fast forward into the future I’m looking at creating inventive ways to mix old traditions with temporary flavours. Actually, that is what inspired me to make this pigeon pea Caribbean salad – combining the old school with new school and you know what it totally works because you’ll get a taste of the Caribbean green salad that’s full of nutrition and optimal flavour.
The Caribbean is notorious for a good ole salad some of you maybe familar with the infamous Caribbean potato salad, Caribbean, crab salad or even the Caribbean conch salad just to name a few.
The health benefits of a pigeon pea Caribbean salad
- It’s contain moderate healthy fats
- High in protein ideal for a calorie controlled diet.
- A low sodium salad
- The fibre and protein from the peas help to stabilise glucose (blood sugar) which is highly crucial for metabolic disorders affecting the liver or pancreas, diabetes is a prime example.
How to make a Jamaican salad with pigeon peas + prep tips
The key ingredients for this salad include –
- Pigeon peas (gungo peas)
- Bell peppers
Avocados – Don’t be alarmed by the use of avocados, it won’t have any bearing on a calorie control diet, if that’s your concern. Avocados are enriched with omega fats which help to relieve inflammation and keep our brain cells rejuvenated along with maintaining a healthy heart.
The Jamaican salad dressing – The true flavour of this legume salad comes from the dressing, don’t skip the dressing, it’s the epitome of goodness and in my humble opinion really heightens the taste of his Jamaican salad.
Prep ahead of time – If you are limited for time then it’s advisable to chop the vegetables up in advance. The avocados tend to darken when exposed to the air so when you slice them up simply toss them in some water with either 1tbsp of lemon or pink salt to reduce darkening
Canned beans – another time save is to use canned beans as opposed to soaking and boiling the peas. This definitely saves on plenty of time and effort.
Mason jar – a salad to go is the latest trend right now, you can transport this salad using a mason jar and bring it to work or otherwise
I really want to make this legume salad, can I use something else if I can’t find pigeon peas?
If obtaining pigeon/gungo peas is a problem simply use black eyed peas instead, but do make sure the peas are saturated in water only without additives.
Where to buy pigeon peas?
You can purchase pigeon peas from any Caribbean/Asian supermarket. Look for legumes labelled as either “pigeon peas” or “gungo peas” because the name is interchangeable.
Other additional ingredients to add to your salad include……….
- Fresh cilantro
- Red onions
- Mandarin orange
- Chilli or scotch bonnet
The above are some great Caribbean salad ideas that make for some great tasting vegan salads filled with that necessary vitamins and minerals that the body needs.
Check out some of the best Caribbean recipes
Pigeon pea Caribbean salad
- 1 cup of pigeon/gungo peas or 1 can drained
- 1 small carrot grated
- 3 scallions sliced
- 1 cup of bell peppers sweet red peppers and yellow mixed
- 1 large avocado chopped.
- 2 tsp of ginger minced
- The juice of one lime
- 1/2 tsp of garlic granules or two small garlic cloves crushed
- 1/4 tsp of sesame seed oil
- 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp of coconut palm sugar
- ⅛ tsp of coconut aminos
- a dash of himalayan pink salt
- 1 tsp of dried thyme to garnish
- Arrange all of the veggies in your favourite bowl or on a plate.
- Pour a generous amount of dressing over the entire salad and garnish with the dried thyme.
- Serve accordingly
- **double or triple the batch of dressing if required**