Pigeon Peas with Rice

we were looking for different dried beans from the same old same old, and ran across Pigeon Peas. Native to Africa they look like black-eyed peas, except they are tan. Melt in your mouth texture when they are cooked!

Pigeon Peas and Rice

2 1/2 cups dried pigeon peas, rinsed
6 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups coconut milk 1/2 lb ham hocks, (we used a ham bone with a bit of meat on it)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced (one added at the beginning and one at the end!)
1 habanero pepper
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed and drained
salt & ground black pepper
*can also add curry! YUM

Place pigeon peas in bowl and cover with several inches extra water; soak overnight. Drain. In a large, heavy saucepan, combine drained pigeon peas with water and coconut milk. Bring to the boil and add the ham hocks, onion, 1 clove of the garlic, and the pepper. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer, uncovered, until the peas are tender, about 45 minutes.
Stir in the rice; reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, another 20-30 minutes. About 5 minutes before the rice is tender, add the last garlic clove to the pot by squeezing it through a garlic press. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and red-hot sauce, if using, and serve.

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