Pigeon Peas (Cajanus cajan) 25 seeds Although not common in the U.S., pigeon peas are an important crop in many parts of the world. Pigeon peas are a vigorous, drought-tolerant legume, productive. They have a pungent, sweet flavor and mealy texture and are used in dishes combined with beans and rice and are often seasoned with hot pepper. The slow cooking nature of these beans allows for a rich, savory broth to be created. Culture: They are cultivated like Southern peas and soybeans. Sow seeds 3/4 to one inch deep, three to four inches apart on raised beds with forty inches between beds. Plant late in the spring after soil temperatures have warmed. It is a long season crop requiring approximately 140 days from seeding to the beginning of harvest. In most parts of the United States where freezing temperatures are possible, they must be grown as an annual.