This Coconut Pigeon Peas Rice combines the aromatic flavors of coconut, the earthy taste of pigeon peas, and a colorful medley of vegetables and spices to create a truly tropical experience. Whether you’re seeking a comforting main course or a flavorful side dish, this recipe is sure to transport you to the sunny shores of the tropics. So, let’s dive in and discover the magic of Coconut Pigeon Peas Rice!
Why I Love It
Rich and Creamy Flavor: The combination of coconut milk and pigeon peas creates a rich and creamy base for the rice. The coconut milk imparts a delightful tropical flavor that complements the earthy taste of the pigeon peas, resulting in a satisfying and delicious dish.
Nutritional Benefits: Coconut milk provides a host of health benefits, including being a good source of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Pigeon peas are high in protein and fiber, making this recipe a nutritious and filling option.
Versatility: Coconut Pigeon Peas Rice is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or as a side dish. It pairs well with a variety of proteins such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu, making it a flexible option for different dietary preferences.
Easy to Prepare: This recipe is relatively easy to make, especially if using an Instant Pot. With just a few simple steps, you can have a flavorful and satisfying rice dish on the table in no time.
Vibrant and Colorful Presentation: The combination of colorful ingredients like red bell peppers, cubanelle peppers, and fresh cilantro springs adds visual appeal to the dish. The vibrant colors make it an enticing option for serving at gatherings or special occasions.
Cultural Influence: Coconut Pigeon Peas Rice is influenced by various cuisines, including Caribbean and Indian. By preparing and enjoying this dish, you can experience flavors and traditions from different cultures, adding a sense of diversity to your culinary repertoire.
Family-Friendly: This recipe is generally well-received by all members of the family. The mild and comforting flavors make it appealing to both kids and adults, ensuring a satisfying mealtime for everyone.
Overall, the Coconut Pigeon Peas Rice recipe offers a combination of delicious flavors, nutritional benefits, and culinary versatility, making it a beloved choice for those who appreciate a tasty and wholesome meal
What Are the Ingredients
- Avocado Oil: I’ve substituted vegetable oil with Avocado Oil in all my cooking. It is much healthier cooking oil option due to its high smoke point. It has a mild, buttery taste and adds richness and depth to dishes while providing beneficial monounsaturated fats.
- Yellow Onion: Base ingredients for our sofrito, it is a staple ingredient in not just Dominican cuisine, but in Caribbean cuisine in general. When sauteed, yellow onion become soft and develop a caramelized sweetness, adding depth and aroma to dishes like this Coconut Pigeon Peas Rice.
- Cubanelle Pepper: Another base for our Dominican sofrito, Cubanelle peppers have a subtle, sweet flavor, making them perfect for sautés.
- Red Bell Pepper: With a crispy and juicy texture, mild and slightly fruity taste, Red bell pepper is the third component of sofrito.
- Tomato Paste: A sofrito is not a sofrito without Tomato Paste. Concentrate form of tomatoes, thick and smooth in texture, tomato paste has a rich and intense flavor, adding acidity and a hint of sweetness to the sofrito.
- Green Pigeon Peas: Also known as Gandule (or “Guandules” in Dominican Republic), these peas are small legumes that have a nutty and earth flavor ad slightly firm texture. Green pigeon peas add protein, fiber and unique taste to this rice recipe.
- Coconut Milk: Creamy and rich, adds a sweet, tropical flavor to this tropical recipe. Coconut milk adds richness and distinctive coconut taste to this incredible rice recipe.
- White Rice: We use mostly white rice in the Caribbean, but feel free to substitute with Basmati if you prefer.
- Pitted Olives: Briny and tangy taste, it balances the savory and salty element to this dish.
- Fresh Cilantro Springs: Also known as coriander leaves, cilantro is highly used in Dominican Republic to take advantage of their aromatic and delicate featherily leaves. With bright and citrusy flavor that adds a refreshing taste to the dish.
How To Make Coconut Pigeon Peas Rice
Step 1: Sauté the Aromatics and Veggies
- Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté” mode and heat avocado oil.
- Add the finely chopped yellow onion, cubanelle pepper, and red bell pepper to the pot. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and slightly caramelized.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional minute, allowing it to coat the vegetables and release its flavors.
Step 2: Add Rice, Pigeon Peas, and Coconut Milk
- Add the green pigeon peas, white rice, and coconut milk to the Instant Pot, stirring well to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, ensuring the flavors are evenly distributed.
Step 3: Add Olives and Fresh Cilantro Springs
- Add the pitted olives and fresh cilantro spring, distributing them evenly through the rice.
Step 4: Pressure Cook
- Close the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to the “Sealing” position.
- Select the “Rice” mode and let it cook, allowing the Instant Pot to come to pressure and the rice to cook.
Step 5: Natural Release and Fluffing
- Once the cooking time is complete, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes.
- Carefully turn the valve to the “Venting” position to release any remaining pressure.
- Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains.
Step 6: Serve
- Transfer the Coconut Pigeon Peas Rice to a serving dish and Enjoy!
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a splash of water if needed to retain moisture.