Pigeon Peas/Mbaazi cooked in Coconut Milk/Tui

Servings : Serves 6

If you’ve ever been to East Africa (especially around the coast), then you most definitely will have had this for breakfast. This dish is most commonly served with Mandazi/Mahamri. It’s the most delicious breakfast food EVER!!


  • 500 gm pigeon peas
  • 2 cups heavy coconut milk
  • 3-4 cups light coconut milk
  • pinch of turmeric
  • green chillies
  • salt to taste
  • bit of garlic paste


Soak the pigeon peas overnight and then boil in a pressure cooker for about 20mins with some salt.

Check one pea to make sure it’s soft before draining the water. If it’s still even slightly hard, boil some more until it crushes easily between your fingertips. The softer the pigeon peas, the better. Only don’t boil until it’s all mush…lol.

Let them cool completely. Pour the peas into a deep pan.

Set aside 2 cups heavy coconut milk and 3-4 cups light coconut milk.

Pour the THIN milk into the pan with the peas, making sure you JUST cover the mbaazi. Too much will make it watery (so adjust as required, you might need more or less, just make sure it’s enough to cover the peas). Add salt, chopped green chillies (slit whole green chillies) a tiny pinch of turmeric (if you want) and the tip of a teaspoon of garlic paste.

Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and let it simmer VERY gently on slow heat, avoid stirring, instead you may swish the pan around a bit every few minutes. After about 10mins, in a small bowl put half a tsp. of all-purpose flour or corn flour and mix it with a little water or some of the thin coconut milk. Add this into the boiling mbaazi/pigeon peas and stir. This helps thicken it. Finally (when the mbaazi are nicely coated with the coconut milk and not much watery-ness is left at the bottom of the pan) turn off the heat and let the mbaazi sit in the same pan uncovered for some time so that it cools. The more it cools the more it will thicken so that the coconut milk will be nicely covering each pea. Don’t stir at this point, just let it cool on its own.

In a separate smaller pan, pour in the HEAVY coconut milk, add salt and some slit green chillies. On a slow heat while stirring CONSTANTLY, bring to a simmer until the milk thickens and cooks which takes about 5 to 8 mins or so. Don’t leave this unattended coz if it over boils and bubbles, the coconut milk breaks up and is ruined. Make sure the heat is slow enough that no bubbles form while its cooking and stir all the time with a wooden spoon.

When done, remove from the heat and keep stirring for some time until you feel it has started cooling. Leave it uncovered and let it cool completely. Finally pour this thick ‘tui’ (coconut milk) over the mbaazi and give it a toss or stir it in gently. You can heat it up slightly before serving. 🙂


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