The Angola pea or pigeon pea is actually a bean but is called a pea because of its size and shape. It is a native of India and Africa where it is widely available and an important crop. It can be sprouted, dried and then soaked before cooking or used as a forage crop. In India it is known as yellow lentil or red gram.
It is also used a great deal in Caribbean cooking and in the cuisine of the Southern states of the United States, particularly in dishes in which rice and beans are combined. The beans are about 75 mm (¼") round, beige or green in colour with light brown speckles and some of the colour is lost on cooking. May be found in dark red. The flavour is sweet and pungent and the texture mealy. They grow in long, twisted, fuzzy pods. These and chickpeas (US: garbanzo beans) are among the most important pulses grown in India.