Pigeon Peas and Yam (Agbugbu)

This is another recipe for pigeon peas, by now you must have tried my recipe for pigeon peas with corn and sweet potatoes. Yes, pigeon peas are very tasty and nutritious too and I love to cook them in different ways. This recipe is for Pigeon peas and yams also called Agbugbu by the people of Nsukka. It’s a very hearty dish loaded with flavor and very easy to prepare.


Agbugbu got me through my final year at the university when I was too busy studying to cook anything. After one meal, I always had enough energy to study for hours. You know how the exam period can be very stressful, with many students looking quite emaciated and “dry”. Well, agbugbu helped a lot of us, it gave us strength and nourished our bodies too. We studied very hard but we didn’t “dry out”, and I knew I couldn’t share other pigeon pea recipes without sharing this one.

The recipe for agbugbu is quite similar to that of pigeon peas and sweet potatoes, the only difference is that yams are used to prepare agbugbu. The raw yams are cut into smaller chunks and cooked till soft. The cooked yams are then added either whole or mashed into the palm oil mixture.



  • Pigeon Pea (Fiofio): This will have to be soaked for at least 12 hours or overnight. soaking helps soften the peas and reduces cooking time, it also reduces the antinutrients present in the peas. take note that the peas double in size after soaking and cooking
  • Yams: The softer and sweeter the yams, the more flavourful the dish will be.
  • Oil: Palm oil is required for traditional agbugbu
  • Fresh pepper: Adds heat and lots of flavor
  • Crayfish (optional): Adds a depth of flavor to the dish. You can omit for a vegetarian meal
  • Red onions: Fried red onions add flavor, flavor and more flavor
  • Salt: Add to taste. Be sure to add it to the pigeon peas when cooking. The addition of salt reduces the cooking time of the peas and increases flavor
  • Ugba (optional): Adds great flavor, save some to use as a topping when serving.

Be sure to also try Ayaraya Oka, it’s a traditional recipe made with pigeon peas and corn!



Pigeon peas cooked with yams make a very delightful meal.
Prep Time 12 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine African


  • Pressure cooker


  • 1 cup Pigeon peas Fiofio
  • 1/3 tuber Yam
  • 1/2 cup Palm oil
  • 1 large Red oinon
  • 1 tbsp Crayfish ground
  • 3 pieces Fresh pepper minced
  • Ugba as desired


  • A day before you cook sort the Fiofio and pick out stones and debris
  • Wash Fiofio and soak in water overnight
  • After 12 hours or the next day, rinse the Fiofio well and place it in a pot of water. Boil for 1 hour with a pressure pot or 1 hour 30 minutes with an ordinary pot. Pigeon pea is done when it is soft and split in the center
  • Be careful when you add water to the pigeon peas because you need the peas to absorb all the water, if the water is too much you may have to drain off the excess when the peas are done.
  • Wash and cut yams into small chunks. Smaller chunks are better so that the yams gets done quickly
  • Put yams into a pot and boil with salt and water till soft. Also, take care when adding water. You want the yams to absorb as much water as it can while cooking.
  • While the peas and yams are boiling, slice onions, grind pepper and crayfish, wash ugba and set aside
  • When yams are done, mash lighlty and set aside (If you prefer yams whole then skip this step)
  • Fry onions, ugba, pepper and crayfish in oil
  • Add pigeon peas to the oil and stir well for a minute
  • Add the yams and stir lightly
  • Remove from heat after a minute
  • Serve hot with extra fried onions and ugba.
Keyword Agbugbu, Fiofio, Pigeon peas

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