Pigeon pea

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Pigeon pea
Cajanus cajan Blanco1.167-cropped.jpg
Botanical illustration of the morphological details of a C. cajan specimen.
Cajanus cajan Leaf, flowers and fruits.png
Botanical image depicting the foliage characteristics and differing pod and flower phenotypes.
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Cajanus
Species:
C. cajan
Binomial name
Cajanus cajan
(L.) Millsp.

The pigeon pea[1] (Cajanus cajan) is a perennial legume from the family Fabaceae native to the Old World.[2] The pigeon pea is widely cultivated in tropical and semitropical regions around the world, being commonly consumed in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.[3]: 5941 

Etymology and other names[edit]

Botanical inscription of C. cajan from Hendrik van Rheede transcribed in Devanagari, Malayalam, Arabic and the Latin alphabet from "Hortus Malabaricus" (1686).[4]

Scientific epithet[edit]

The scientific name for the genus Cajanus and the species cajan derive from the Malay word katjang meaning legume in reference to the bean of the plant.[5]

Common English names[edit]

In English they are commonly referred to as pigeon pea which originates from the historical utilization of the pulse as pigeon fodder in Barbados.[6][7] The term Congo pea and Angola pea developed due to the presence of its cultivation in Africa and the association of its utilization with those of African descent.[8][9] The names no-eye pea and red gram both refer to the characteristics of the seed, with no-eye pea in reference to the lack of a hilum on most varieties, unlike the black-eyed pea, and red gram in reference to the red color of most Indian varieties and gram simply referring to the plant being a legume.[10]

Internationally[edit]

Africa[edit]

Pigeon pea seeds cultivated and harvested from Benin.

In Benin Pigeon pea is locally known as klouékoun in Fon, otinin in Ede and eklui in Adja.[11][12] In Cape Verde they are called feijão Congo in Cape Verdean creole.[13] In Comoros and Mauritius they are known as embrevade or ambrebdade in Comorian[14] and Morisyen, respectively, in return originating from the Malagasy term for the plant amberivatry.[15] In Ghana they are known as aduwa or adowa in Dagbani.[16][17] In Kenya and Tanzania they are known as mbaazi in Swahili.[18] In Malawi they are called nandolo in Chichewa.[19] In Nigeria pigeon peas are called fiofio or mgbụmgbụ in Igbo,[20][21] waken-masar "Egyptian bean"[22] or waken-turawa "foreigner bean"[23] in Hausa,[24] and otinli in Yoruba.[25] In Sudan they are known as adaseya, adasy and adasia.[26][27]

Asia[edit]

Pigeon peas displayed next to a ruler from the Ereke market in Buton Island, Indonesia

In India the plant is known by various different names such as; Assamese: অৰহৰ (arahar),• Bengali: অড়হর (arahar) মিৰি মাহ (mirai-maha) • Gujarati: તુવેર (tuver) • Hindi: अरहर (arhar), तुवर (tuvar) • Kannada: ತೊಗರಿ ಬೆಳೆ (togari bele), ತೊಗರಿ ಕಾಳು (togari kalu) • Konkani: तोरी (tori) • Malayalam: ആഢകി (adhaki), തുവര (tuvara) • Manipuri: মাইৰোংবী (mairongbi) • Marathi: तूर (tur) • Nepali: रहर (rahar) • Oriya: ହର୍ ହର୍ (har-har), କାକ୍ଷୀ (kakshi), ତୁବର (tubara) • Persian: شاخول (shakhul) • Punjabi: ਦਿੰਗੇਰ (dinger) • Tamil: ஆடகி (adhaki), இருப்புலி (iruppuli), காய்ச்சி (kaycci), and துவரை (tuvarai) • Telugu: ఆఢకి (adhaki), కంది (kandi), తొగరి (togari), తువరము (tuvaramu) • Tibetan: tu ba ri and in Urdu: ارهر (arhar), توأر (tuar).[28][29]

In the Philippines they are known as Kadios in Filipino and Kadyos in Tagalog.[30][31]

The Americas[edit]

Pigeon peas or "Gandules" harvested from Baracoa, Cuba.

In Latin America,[32] they are known as guandul or gandul in Spanish, and feijão andu or gandu in Portuguese all of which derive from Kikongo wandu or from Kimbundu oanda; both names referring to the same plant.[33][34][35][36]

In the Anglophone regions of the Caribbean, like Jamaica,[37] they are known as Gungo peas, coming from the more archaic English name for the plant congo pea, given to the plant because of its popularity and relation to Sub-Saharan Africa.[38][39]

In Francophone regions of the Caribbean they are known as pois d' angole,[40] pwa di bwa in Antillean creole[41] and pwa kongo in Haitian creole.[42]

In Suriname they are known as wandoe[43] or gele pesi,[44] the former of which is derived from the same source as its Spanish and Portuguese counterparts, the latter of which literally translates to 'yellow pea' from Dutch and Sranan Tongo.

Oceania[edit]

Seedpods at Community Garden Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii.

In Hawaii they are known as pi pokoliko "Puerto Rican pea" or pi nunu "Pigeon pea" in the Hawaiian language.[45]

History and origin[edit]

Origin[edit]

The closest relatives to the cultivated pigeon pea are Cajanus cajanifolia, Cajanus scarabaeoides and Cajanus kerstingii, native to India and the latter West Africa respectively.[46][47][48] Much debate exist over the geographical origin of the species, with some groups claiming origin from the Nile river and Western Africa, and the other Indian origin.[49] The two epicenters of genetic diversity exist in both Africa and India, but India is considered to be its primary center of origin with West Africa being considered a second major center of origin.[50]

History[edit]

By at least 2,800 BCE in peninsular India,[51] where its presumptive closest wild relatives Cajanus cajanifolia occurs in tropical deciduous woodlands, its cultivation has been documented.[52] Archaeological finds of pigeon pea cultivation dating to about 14th century BC have also been found at the Neolithic site of Sanganakallu in Kalaburagi and its border area Tuljapur (where the cultivation of African domesticated plants like pearl millet, finger millet, and Lablab have also been uncovered),[53] as well as in Gopalpur and other South Indian states.[54]

From India it may have made its way to North-East Africa via Trans-Oceanic Bronze Age trade that allowed cross-cultural exchange of resources and agricultural products. [55] The earliest evidence of pigeon peas in Africa was found in Ancient Egypt with the presence of seeds in Egyptian tombs dating back to around 2,200 BCE. [56] From eastern Africa, cultivation spread further west and south through the continent, where by means of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, it reached the Americas around the 17th century.[39]

Pigeon peas were reportedly introduced to Hawaii in 1824 by James Macrae with a few specimens reportedly becoming naturalized on the islands, but they wouldn't gain much popularity until later.[57] By the early 20th century Filipinos and Puerto Ricans began to emigrate from the American Philippines and Puerto Rico to Hawaii to work in sugarcane plantations in 1906 and 1901, respectively.[58][59][60] Pigeon peas are said to have been popularized on the island by the Puerto Rican community where by the First World War their cultivation began, to expand on the island where they are stilled cultivated and consumed by locals.[61]

Nutrition[edit]

Pigeon peas, immature, raw
Pigeon peas.jpg
Pigeon peas in Trinidad and Tobago
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy569 kJ (136 kcal)
23.88 g
Sugars3 g
Dietary fiber5.1 g
1.64 g
7.2 g
VitaminsQuantity
%DV
Thiamine (B1)
35%
0.4 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
14%
0.17 mg
Niacin (B3)
15%
2.2 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
14%
0.68 mg
Vitamin B6
5%
0.068 mg
Folate (B9)
43%
173 μg
Choline
9%
45.8 mg
Vitamin C
47%
39 mg
Vitamin E
3%
0.39 mg
Vitamin K
23%
24 μg
MineralsQuantity
%DV
Calcium
4%
42 mg
Iron
12%
1.6 mg
Magnesium
19%
68 mg
Manganese
27%
0.574 mg
Phosphorus
18%
127 mg
Potassium
12%
552 mg
Sodium
0%
5 mg
Zinc
11%
1.04 mg

Link to USDA Database entry
Values for Choline, Vit. E/K available
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA FoodData Central
Pigeon peas, mature, raw
Cajanus cajan Steve Hurst 1.jpg
Seeds of the pigeon pea
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy1,435 kJ (343 kcal)
62.78 g
Sugarsn/a
Dietary fiber15 g
1.49 g
21.7 g
Tryptophan212 mg
Threonine767 mg
Isoleucine785 mg
Leucine1549 mg
Lysine1521 mg
Methionine243 mg
Cystine250 mg
Phenylalanine1858 mg
Tyrosine538 mg
Valine937 mg
Arginine1299 mg
Histidine774 mg
Alanine972 mg
Aspartic acid2146 mg
Glutamic acid5031 mg
Glycine802 mg
Proline955 mg
Serine1028 mg
Hydroxyproline0 mg
VitaminsQuantity
%DV
Thiamine (B1)
56%
0.643 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
16%
0.187 mg
Niacin (B3)
20%
2.965 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
25%
1.266 mg
Vitamin B6
22%
0.283 mg
Folate (B9)
114%
456 μg
Choline
0%
0.000000 mg
Vitamin C
0%
0 mg
Vitamin E
0%
0.000000 mg
Vitamin K
0%
0.000000 μg
MineralsQuantity
%DV
Calcium
13%
130 mg
Iron
40%
5.23 mg
Magnesium
52%
183 mg
Manganese
85%
1.791 mg
Phosphorus
52%
367 mg
Potassium
30%
1392 mg
Sodium
1%
17 mg
Zinc
29%
2.76 mg

Link to USDA Database entry
Values for Choline, Vit. E/K unavailable
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA FoodData Central

Pigeon peas contain high levels of protein and the important amino acids methionine, lysine, and tryptophan.[62]

The following table indicates completeness of nutritional profile of various amino acids within mature seeds of pigeon pea.

Essential Amino Acid Available mg/g of Protein Min. Required mg/g of Protein
Tryptophan 9.76 7
Threonine 32.34 27
Isoleucine 36.17 25
Leucine 71.3 55
Lysine 70.09 51
Methionine+Cystine 22.7 25
Phenylalanine+Tyrosine 110.4 47
Valine 43.1 32
Histidine 35.66 18

Methionine + Cystine combination is the only limiting amino acid combination in pigeon pea. In contrast to the mature seeds, the immature seeds are generally lower in all nutritional values, however they contain a significant amount of vitamin C (39 mg per 100 g serving) and have a slightly higher fat content. Research has shown that the protein content of the immature seeds is of a higher quality.[63]

Cultivation[edit]

Harvested pigeon peas from Cape Verde

Pigeon peas can be of a perennial variety, in which the crop can last three to five years (although the seed yield drops considerably after the first two years), or an annual variety more suitable for seed production.[68]

Global production[edit]

Pigeon peas harvested from the Maharashtra Gene Bank project in India

World production of pigeon peas is estimated at 4.49 million tons.[69] About 63% of this production comes from India.[70] The total number of hectares grown to pigeon pea is estimated at 5.4 million.[69] India accounts for 72% of the area grown to pigeon pea or 3.9 million hectares. Africa is the secondary centre of diversity and at present it contributes about 21% of global production with 1.05 million tons. Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique and Uganda are the major producers in Africa.[71]

A pigeon pea plant in bloom with pods forming in Cuba

Pigeon pea is an important legume crop of rainfed agriculture in the semiarid tropics. The Indian subcontinent, Africa and Central America, in that order, are the world's three main pigeon pea-producing regions. Pigeon peas are cultivated in more than 25 tropical and subtropical countries, either as a sole crop or intermixed with cereals, such as sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), or maize (Zea mays), or with other legumes, such as peanuts (Arachis hypogea). Being a legume capable of symbiosis with Rhizobia, the bacteria associated with the pigeon pea enrich soils through symbiotic nitrogen fixation.[72]

Naturalized Pigeon peas growing on Cha das Caldeiras on Fogo island in Cape Verde

The crop is cultivated on marginal land by resource-poor farmers, who commonly grow traditional medium- and long-duration (5–11 months) landraces. Short-duration pigeon peas (3–4 months) suitable for multiple cropping have recently been developed. Traditionally, the use of such input as fertilizers, weeding, irrigation, and pesticides is minimal, so present yield levels are low (average = 700 kilograms per hectare (620 lb/acre)). Greater attention is now being given to managing the crop because it is in high demand at remunerative prices.

Kenyans shelling pigeon peas

Pigeon peas are very drought-resistant and can be grown in areas with less than 650 mm annual rainfall. With the maize crop failing three out of five years in drought-prone areas of Kenya, a consortium led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) aimed to promote the pigeon pea as a drought-resistant, nutritious alternative crop.[73]

Breeding[edit]

John Spence, a botanist and politician from Trinidad and Tobago, developed several varieties of dwarf pigeon peas which can be harvested by machine, instead of by hand.[74]

Genome sequence[edit]

The pigeon pea is the first seed legume plant to have its complete genome sequenced. The sequencing was first accomplished by a group of 31 Indian scientists from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. It was then followed by a global research partnership, the International Initiative for Pigeon pea Genomics (IIPG), led by ICRISAT with partners such as BGI–Shenzhen (China), US research laboratories like University of Georgia, University of California-Davis, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and National Centre for Genome Resources, European research institutes like the National University of Ireland Galway. It also received support from the CGIAR Generation Challenge Program, US National Science Foundation and in-kind contribution from the collaborating research institutes.[75][76] It is the first time that a CGIAR-supported research center such as ICRISAT led the genome sequencing of a food crop. There was a controversy over this as CGIAR did not partner with a national team of scientists and broke away from the Indo American Knowledge Initiative to start their own sequencing in parallel.[77]

The 616 mature microRNAs and 3919 long non-codingRNAs sequences were identified in the genome of pigeon pea.[78]

Dehulling[edit]

Split pigeon peas are the end product after dehulling

Various methodologies exist in order to remove the pulse from its shell. In earlier days hand pounding was common. Several traditional methods are used that can be broadly classified under two categories: the wet method and the dry method. The Wet method Involves water soaking, sun drying and dehulling. The Dry method Involves oil/water application, drying in the sun, and dehulling. Depending on the magnitude of operation, large-scale commercial dehulling of large quantities of pigeon pea into its deskinned, split version, known as toor dal in Hindi, is done in mechanically operated mills.[79][80]

Uses[edit]

In cuisine[edit]

A Tanzanian woman grinding pigeon peas to prepare dinner.

Pigeon peas are both a food crop (dried peas, flour, or green vegetable peas) and a forage/cover crop. In combination with cereals, pigeon peas make a well-balanced meal and hence are favored by nutritionists as an essential ingredient for balanced diets. The dried peas may be sprouted briefly, then cooked, for a flavor different from the green or dried peas. Sprouting also enhances the digestibility of dried pigeon peas via the reduction of indigestible sugars that would otherwise remain in the cooked dried peas.[81]

Africa[edit]

A bowl of Cape Verdean feijão Congo

In Cape Verde they make a soup with the dried pigeon peas called feijão Congo, after its own name, made with dried pigeon peas in a similar manner to Brazilian feijoada.[82]

Mbaazi na mahamri (pigeon peas with fried Swahili buns)

In Kenya and throughout the Swahili-speaking region of East Africa, pigeon peas are utilized in dishes such as mbaazi na mahamri, that is usually served for breakfast.[83][84]

A plastic container filled with Nigerian echicha.

In the Enugu state of Nigeria, and igbo dish called Ẹchịcha or Achịcha is made with palm oil, cocoyam, and seasoning.[85] It is also similar to other dishes from the state such as ayarya ji and fio-fio.[86][87][88]

In Ethiopia, the pods, the young shoots and leaves, are cooked and eaten.[89]

Asia[edit]

Dal/pappu and rice, the twice-daily staple meal for most people in India and the Indian subcontinent

In India, it is one of the most popular pulses, being an important source of protein in a mostly vegetarian diet. It is the primary accompaniment to rice or roti and has the status of staple food throughout the length and breadth of India. In regions where it grows, fresh young pods are eaten as a vegetable in dishes such as sambar.

In the Western Visayas region of the Philippines, pigeon peas are the main ingredient of a very popular dish called "KBL" - an acronym for "Kadyos" (pigeon pea), "Baboy" (pork), and "Langka" (jackfruit). It is a savory soup with rich flavors coming from the pigeon peas, smoked pork preferably the legs or tail, and souring agent called batuan. Raw jackfruit meat is chopped and boiled to soft consistency, and serves as an extender. The violet color of the soup comes from the pigment of the variety commonly grown in the region.[90]

The Americas[edit]

Sancocho de guandu or sopa de guandu con carne salada.

In the Caribbean coast of Colombia, like the Atlántico department of Colombia, the sopa de guandú con carne salada (or simply "gandules") is made with pigeon peas, yam, plantain, yuca, and spices.[91] During the week of Semana santa a sweet is made out of pigeon peas called dulce de guandules which is made by mashed and sweetened pigeon peas with origins in the maroon community of San Basilio de Palenque.[92][93][94]

In the Dominican Republic, A dish made of rice and green pigeon peas called moro de guandules is a traditional holyday food in the Dominican Republic.[95]

In Panama Pigeon peas are used in a dish called Arroz con gandules y coco or "rice with pigeon peas and coconut" traditionally being prepared and consumed at the end of the year.[96]

Puertorican Arroz con gandules.

In Puerto Rico, arroz con gandules is made with rice and pigeon peas and sofrito which is a traditional dish, especially during Christmas season.[97] Pigeon peas can also be made in to a stew called asopao de gandules, with plantain balls.[98]

Jamaican jerk chicken with a side of Rice and peas

Jamaica also uses pigeon peas instead of kidney beans in their rice and peas dish, especially during the Christmas season.[99]

Trinidadian Pelau serverd on a plate.

Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada have their own variant, called pelau, which includes either beef or chicken, and occasionally pumpkin and pieces of cured pig tail.[100]

Bahamian Fried conch with a side of Peas 'n Rice.

Unlike in some other parts of the Greater Caribbean, in The Bahamas pigeon peas are used in dried form, light brown in color to make the heartier, heavier, signature Bahamian staple dish "Peas 'n Rice."[101]

Oceania[edit]

In Hawaii they are used to make a dish called gandule rice,[102] also called godule rice,[103] gundule rice,[104] and ganduddy rice[105] originates on the island from the Puerto Rican community with historic ties to the island and is prepared in a similar manner to that of traditional Puerto Rican arroz con gandules.[106]

Other uses[edit]

Agricultural[edit]

Harvested pods of pigeon peas in Benin.

It is an important ingredient of animal feed used in West Africa, especially in Nigeria, where it is also grown. Leaves, pods, seeds and the residues of seed processing are used to feed all kinds of livestock.[107]

In the Congo Pigeon peas are utilized as one of the main food forest and soil improvement crops after using a slash-and-burn fire technique called maala.[108]

Pigeon peas are in some areas an important crop for green manure, providing up to 90 kg nitrogen per hectare.[109] The woody stems of pigeon peas can also be used as firewood, fencing, thatch and as a source for rope fiber.[110]

Medicinal[edit]

In the Republic of Congo the Kongo, Lari, and Dondo people use the sap of the leaves as an eyedrop for epilepsy.[111]

In Madagascar the branches have been used as a teeth cleaning twig.[112][113]

Gallery[edit]

Pigeon pea flower at Sydney 2019
Naturalized Cape Verdean Pigeon peas.
The pigeon pea is a perennial which can grow into a small tree.
Fresh pigeon peas from a market in Buton Island, Indonesia.
Cajanus cajanMHNT
Pigeon pea flowers
thali is a special and tradition from Uttarakhand which contains Rice with pigeon pea dal, home made butter and whey.
Arhar crop (Pigeon pea) in Punjab, India.
Small girl standing near Dholl crop (pigeon pea), George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens c. 1905.[114]
Arhar crop (Pigeon pea) in village Bahga, Punjab.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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