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Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.)

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Abstract

The pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp., also known as red gram, is found throughout tropical and subtropical areas of the world, from about 30°N to about 30°S of the equator. There is some uncertainty about the origins of the pigeon pea, and although it is believed to have originated in India, it is found very extensively in Africa (Duke, 1981). Greater use of the pigeon pea as food, is made in India than in most other parts of the world. In India, it is split and skinned into dhal which is relished as excellent food. According to Duke (1981), preparation of dhal involves sun-drying, followed by partial splitting of the seeds by a stone mill. The seeds are men treated with a vegetable oil and stored. During storage, oil is absorbed by the seed coat, which facilitates its final removal. The resulting product is sieved and winnowed to remove any residual seed coats, has an excellent half-globular shape, cooks soft and commands a high price. It may also be cooked and eaten in the green form, or as dried red gram. In West Africa, the mature seeds are soaked in water, cooked and eaten alone or with rice, yam or a variety of vegetables. In the Caribbean, pigeon peas may be harvested green, cut, steamed and canned or as dry seeds, cooked and canned for export.. For domestic use, the peas are harvested green or dried and used in a variety of local dishes.Estimates of dry seed yield are in the range 400-600 kg/ha in Africa, 700 kg/ha in Asia and about 1400 kg/ha in North America, whreas green pod yields are estimated at between 1000 and 900 kg/ha (Duke, 1981).

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© 1996 E. Nwokolo and J. Smartt

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Nwokolo, E. (1996). Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.). In: Nwokolo, E., Smartt, J. (eds) Food and Feed from Legumes and Oilseeds. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4613-0433-3_5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4613-0433-3_5

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4613-8050-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4613-0433-3

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