Native to Africa, this tiny legume is also called gandule, goongoo bean, Congo bean and no-eyed pea. In the United States it's particularly popular in southern states where it grows in long, twisted fuzzy pods. The peas are about the size of the standard garden pea and are usually a grayish-yellow color. Pigeon peas can be eaten raw but are most often dried and split. They're available dried in many supermarkets and can often be found fresh, frozen and canned in the regions where they're grown, as well as Latin American and Indian markets. Pigeon peas are cooked like dried beans. See also beans.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.