Mbaazi za Nazi (Pigeon Peas in Coconut Milk)

dry pigeon peas

mbaazi:dry pigeon peas

Today I woke up feeling positively energized and inspired. Inspired to follow my dreams and manifest them. Life can change in an instant, it’s the act of coping with what happened that really matters. The last months haven’t been the easiest in my life. Most of you might have noticed that since last year and today, I have only managed to post one recipe.

Last autumn, my life took a turn that I didn’t see coming and never would have thought of (that’s a story for another day). Out of the whole experience, I have learned to look at life from a different angle and accepting circumstances as they are instead of trying to change them or run away. At first I wanted to run away from it all – when I say running I don’t necessarily mean jogging – I mean running as first as I could, lung burning run. Run off my fears and anxiety… run off my anger… run off the reality… I did try to run, only to make things worse. I guess it is in our human nature to try and run away from the reality from time to time. But once we realize we cannot change things to be the way we wish/want them to be and start accepting them as they are, life becomes much more easier. Instead of lamenting of the things that we’ve lost in the past, it’s good to learn to let go and see each new day as another opportunity to being a better person that we weren’t yesterday. What seems like the end of everything, it is actually the beginning of something new, another chapter in life. Everything happens for a reason, nothing is a coincidence. I have named the autumn of last year “The Golden Autumn” and am so grateful for each and every lesson it has taught me.

Golden Autumn

The Golden Autumn

It was during “The Golden Autumn” that my mum brought me these peas from her summer holiday in Kenya. Pigeon peas are considered as one of the strongest draught-tolerant crops in Kenya and some other countries in East Africa. Even when everything else dries up; the water wells, plants and the soil, these peas continue to survive and have been a life saver in many homes. I have come to like them a lot of lately and at some point they keep on reminding me how strong I can be. That no matter the situation, we have to keep on moving and being strong. After enjoying them several times is when I remembered you guys (Lol) and just with the last half a kilo left, I happened to manage to capture and write this recipe for you.

Mbaazi za Nazi (pigeon peas in coconut milk) is the most stumble breakfast dish for most homesteads in the Kenyan coast. Traditionally they are accompanied by Mahamri.

Normally dry peas are used but even young peas would do.

cooked mbaazi

Mbaazi za nazi:pigeon peas with coconut milk

Mbaazi za Nazi (pigon peas in coconut milk)


½ kg dry pigeon peas or 2 cans precooked pigeon peas

Water for boiling the peas

1 cup normal coconut milk

½ cup thick coconut milk

2-3 green or red chilies

½ teaspoon turmeric or curry powder (optional)

Salt to taste


Soak dry peas overnight and rinse them in the morning before boiling them till soft, takes about an hour. (If using canned rinse well and drain)

Drain once they are cooked and add 1 cup of normal coconut milk, chilies, turmeric powder, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on very low heat for about 10 – 15 minutes

In a separate saucepan, place the thick coconut milk and bring it to a light boil stirring constantly using a whisk until it has double thickened. Remove from heat and set aside

Scoop a few spoons of the thick coconut milk on to the pigeon peas folding it before serving

Enjoy with Mahamri or Chapati

12 thoughts on “Mbaazi za Nazi (Pigeon Peas in Coconut Milk)

  1. This is such a great way to serve the peas! I used plain old black eyes peas and used only half the red chilies, as I was serving to folks who can’t have too much heat.
    I’ll make this again for my own family !

    1. admin

      Hello Jamie.
      Thank you for your feedback. Hope your family likes it as well.
      Happy Cooking.
      Best Regards

  2. I love this. If I were to fry with onion & Tomatoes first before adding the coconut milk,would it work?

  3. Truly Kenyan.The devil whispers ‘You can’t withstand the storm’ ..The Warrior replies ‘ Iam The Storm’..

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