Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Someone said I had to crack them and get two yellow split peas out but that doesn't seem to work. Do I just soak and boil 'em up as is?

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I saw Jerry on gardening Australia talking about pigeon peas being short lived. I thought that was rubbish but both of mine died in the same week at 3 or 4 years old. I'm not really worried because I have about 10 self seeded young ones doing well.  It's worth knowing though.  

Commercially they are usually grown as an annual because after the first year the harvest decreases.

That's what Jerry said.  Mine boomed a few times every year - and then suddenly turned up their toes.  

After the recent rain I have had hundreds of seedlings pop up under my 30 odd plants. Am going to continue growing them to distract the king parrots.

I have quite a container full now.  I'm going to have a crack at Indian Toor Dahl.  

I've run out of Black Beans so I used my stash of homegrown Pigeon Peas to go Mexican. So I straddled geography a bit as PPs are popular in the Caribbean and not in Central America. While they make the preferred (and most popular) dahl of course, I thought they worked great in my beef mix.

Aside from a 'Holy Trinity' (celery/peppers/onion)  I used fresh Jalapeno peppers,some cumin, thyme and Eapazote with a good wad of annatto/Archiotte.

3 tomatoes...

With a dash of fish sauce after the PPs were cooked.

Served it with a great tomatillo salsa and sliced cabbage.

I've grown black beans here but the harvest isn't as what you can get from a PP bush.

I just found this comparison page: Pigeon Peas vs Black Beans.

That's interesting.  PP is almost an accidental crop for me.  It's one of the few things that will live in the building site (along with vetiver). 

If you step back,PPs, corn and various tubers (other than potatoes) suit the Brisbane climate.Sweet potatoes, yams, Taro, a way that other cereals and some other legumes don't.

The cuisine of India is built on a menu logic aligned to various climate conditions.

Corn, for instance, is criminally neglected here as a cereal -- although accepted as 'sweet  and popping corn'.

Unless 'split', PPs make for a gritty dal. But there are many workaroundsin the Caribbean for their preparation.

Even in Trinidad/Tobago --where the population is 17% of Indian descent -- pigeon peas are cooked whole, either fresh green or dried.

While I cooked part of my PP stock in a great delicious braise, the rest I turned into refried beans hasn't worked so well.

This is of interest:

Dehulling methods

Dehulling pigeon peas is an age-old practice in India. In earlier days hand pounding was common. Several traditional methods are used that can be broadly classified under two categories:

Wet method Involves water soaking, sun drying and dehulling.

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


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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

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