Pigeon pea is a type of legume that is also known as red gram. Like green peas, pigeon peas also have a pea pod with four to five pea seeds inside each pod. The color of the pea pod is bright green when it is young and changes to brown while maturing. Finally, a matured pigeon pea pod is dark brown to purple.
The color of the seed is green when it is young and turns into golden yellow as it matures. Pigeon peas are rich in proteins and can be cooked fresh or dried. In the following article, we will discuss all the necessary methods for storing and preserving pigeon pea so that it does not go bad.
How to Store Pigeon Pea?
Pigeon peas can easily spoil if they are not stored properly. You can store pigeon peas with their pea pods or store the seeds only with their shells removed. Fresh pigeon peas can last from two days to even a few months, depending upon how they are stored. While dried pigeon pea, which has an infinite shelf life, can also be stored. Following are the ways that you can use to store the pigeon pea.
In the pantry
If you want to store the pigeon pea for just a few days, then storing them in the pantry is a good option. Only pea pods of pigeon pea can be stored in the pantry, while the pea seeds with their pea pods removed should be used right away or stored in the refrigerator or freezer. The pea pods of pigeon pea can stay fresh for a few days on the shelf. You have to make sure that you store the pea pods in a ventilated bag or bowl so that they last long.
In the refrigerator
You can store pigeon peas in a refrigerator if you want to store them for only about a week. Whether you want to store the pea pods or seeds of the pigeon pea, both will last for five to seven days in the fridge. You have to make sure that you store the pigeon pea in a ventilated bag so that they would not spoil fast.
In the freezer
If you want the pigeon peas to last for the longest time, storing them in the freezer is the best option. Frozen pigeon pea will stay fresh for over a year in the freezer if stored properly. Although pea pods can also be frozen but preferably blanched pea seeds are frozen.
Can you Freeze Pigeon Pea?
Frozen pigeon peas will last the longest for almost a year or two if stored properly. The best way to store pigeon peas in the freezer is by first blanching the peas. Blanching the peas will increase the shelf life of the pigeon peas. Then put the blanched peas in a plastic bag and vacuum-seal it.
Then place the plastic bag in the freezer. Removing the air out of the plastic bag will help the peas to stay fresh for long. Take the pigeon peas out of the freezer whenever you need them and use them in your dishes.
How Long Does Pigeon Pea Last?
While fresh pigeon pea can last from a few days to even a few years depending upon how they are stored, dried pigeon pea has an infinite shelf life. Fresh pigeon pea pods will stay fresh for two to three days in the pantry and three to five days in the refrigerator. If you freeze the fresh pea pods of pigeon pea, they will last for a year to 18 months in the freezer.
It is not recommended to store the pigeon peas taken out of the pea pods in the pantry as they will spoil quickly. Hence pigeon peas stored in the refrigerator will remain fresh for five to seven days. If you have stored the pigeon peas in the freezer, you can use them for a year or two without worrying about their freshness. Dried pigeon peas will last indefinitely on the shelf or in the pantry.
How to Tell if Pigeon Pea is Bad?
You can tell if the pigeon pea has spoiled or not by using a few of your senses. Rotten pigeon pea will have a changed appearance, smell, and even taste. Following are some signs that show if the pigeon has spoiled.
- If a mold appearance on the pigeon pea, this shows that the pea has rotten.
- Spoiled pigeon pea will have a white liquid oozing out of the pea seed or pea pod.
- If you notice that the pigeon pea has started changing color from yellow to dark brown or black, maybe it is time to get rid of the pea.
- The texture of the spoiled pigeon pea will change. It will become slimy.
- When frozen pigeon pea goes bad, you will notice some freezer burns on them. It would be best if you throw such pigeon peas as soon as possible.
- Rotten pigeon peas will have an unpleasing odor.