The pigeon pea, (Cajanus cajan ) is a perennial member of the family Fabaceae.
The cultivation of the pigeon pea goes back at least 3000 years. The centre of origin is most likely Asia, from where it travelled to East Africa and by means of the slave trade to the American continent.
Pigeon peas are an important legume crop of rain fed agriculture in the semi-arid tropics. The Indian subcontinent, Eastern Africa and Central America , in that order, are the world’s three main pigeon pea producing regions
In India, split pigeon peas (toor dal) are one of the most popular pulses, being an important source of protein in a mostly vegetarian diet. In regions where it grows, fresh young pods are eaten as vegetable in dishes such as sambhar
For food purposes, pigeon peas are usually found dried, canned or ground for flour. They are easiest to find canned, and will likely be in most large grocery stores or specialty Indian and Latin shops. Although there are many varieties of pigeon pea grown, store-bought varieties will usually come in green, white, or black colours.
The yellow pigeon pea is not similar to the common yellow pea.
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