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Jamaican Gungo Peas and Rice Recipe

gungo peas and rice

Gungo peas (pigeon peas) and rice with curried goat are a traditional Christmas dinner dish in Jamaica. Sorrel drink is the traditional Christmas beverage. You can use the green gungo or the dried ones; the result will be the same. However, the nutritional value will be different. Green gungo price ($600 JMD. per quart) EXPENSIVE!!!

Green gungo peas

gungo peasunshelled gungo peas

Dried gungo peas

dried gungo peas


I am using 2 lbs. of rice. Therefore, I am using 2 lbs. gungo

2 lbs. dried gungo (shelled, discard the ones with worms, washed )

1 cup freshly grated coconut milk

1 stalk scallion, roughly chopped

Piece of fresh green thyme

1 whole green pepper

Piece of ginger

6 pimento seeds

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp. butter or margarine

2 lbs. rice

4 cups water (or less)

Salt to taste



Pour 2 cups of water In a large cast-iron pot (the best type of pot to cook the prefect rice) add the gungo peas, garlic, pimento and ginger. Put the pot on high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup water, to sink the gungo (because it will rinse to the top). Boil peas until partially tender.


Add the scallion, thyme and whole hot pepper, continue cooking until gungo is soft (gungo takes about 20 minutes to fully cooked).

cooked gungocooked gungo


By then, the water should be reduce to about 1 cup. Lower the heat,  add the coconut milk, and salt.  Simmer for 2 minutes to absorb the flavours from the scallion, thyme, and hot pepper.

step 4

Turn up the heat to high. Add the rice and butter or margarine, stir to allow the rice and gungo peas to be evenly distributed. Cover the pot and cook the rice.

gungo rice and peas


When the water dried out of the rice, lower the heat to the lowest. If the rice grains are not properly cooked, sprinkle a tiny amount of water on the rice and continue cooking rice until properly cooked. Remove from heat and serve with your choice ‘saltin’ (meat)

Nutrition Facts

Green gungo; has high water content and has fewer nutrients than dried gungo
Dried gungo; contains 22 grams of protein, while green gungo contains 7 grams. The fat content for both are very low; about 2 grams. Carbohydrate content is 63 grams for the dried gungo and 24 grams for the green. Gungo is rich in two macro-nutrients, it also contains other important micro-nutrients such as significant amounts of calcium, potassium, and folacin.

Tip:  Use the canned option, which is not bad, just remember not to add salt to your pot if you use the saline water in which it is preserved.

Related Post

rice and peas

Jamaican rice and peas recipe


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