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Firm Tofu vs Pigeon Peas: How Do They Compare?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between firm tofu and pigeon peas, foods from the legumes and legume product group. Read on to learn more about the firm tofu vs pigeon peas comparison.
Esther Bumpus, Health Writer

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on January 18, 2023.

Firm Tofu and pigeon peas belong to the legumes and legume products food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Legumes and most legume products are an affordable source of plant protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

This article will thoroughly compare firm tofu and pigeon peas and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

Firm Tofu

Firm tofu, also known as regular tofu or Chinese-style tofu, is a type of tofu with a firmer, more dense texture than soft or regular tofu.

It is made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the curds into blocks, with the addition of weight or pressure to remove excess moisture.

Firm tofu has a pale, beige color and a slightly nutty flavor, and is a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes.

It can be used in a variety of dishes, including stir-fries, soups, and sandwiches, and can also be grilled, fried, or baked.

In addition to being a tasty and versatile food, firm tofu is a good source of protein, fiber, and several important nutrients, including iron, potassium, and B vitamins.

It has been shown to have a number of potential health benefits, including lower cholesterol levels and improved blood sugar control.

Firm Tofu is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and some Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

Pigeon Peas

Pigeon peas (Cajanus cajan) are a legume widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.

They are a staple food in many countries, including India, Africa, and South America.

Pigeon peas are known for their high protein and fiber content, as well as their rich flavor and versatility in cooking.

Pigeon peas can be used in various dishes such as dals, curries, soups, and stews. They can also be used to make flour and snacks.

They peas are an excellent source of plant-based protein and are a good source of minerals like iron, zinc, and potassium.

They are also rich in antioxidants and can help to reduce inflammation and protect against certain types of cancer.

Pigeon peas are also low in fat and cholesterol-free, making them a great option for a healthy diet.

Pigeon Peas is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

Firm Tofu vs Pigeon Peas Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing firm tofu vs pigeon peas.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of firm tofu and pigeon peas and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

Firm TofuPigeon Peas
Energy144 kcal343 kcal
Carbs2.78 g62.78 g
Fiber2.3 g15 g
Protein17.3 g21.7 g
Fat8.72 g1.49 g
Saturated Fat1.26 g0.33 g

Firm Tofu vs Pigeon Peas Calories

Most calories in raw legumes come from carbs. Peanuts are an exception here, but they are often considered a nut instead of a legume because of their nutritional profile.

Comparing firm tofu vs pigeon peas for weight loss, firm tofu is slightly lower in calories, with 144 calories per 100 grams, compared to 343 calories per 100 grams of pigeon peas.

However, both firm tofu and pigeon peas can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Firm Tofu vs Pigeon Peas Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including firm tofu and pigeon peas, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Pigeon Peas offers around 20% more protein than firm tofu.

Pigeon Peas has 21.7 grams of protein per 100 grams, while firm tofu has 17.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Firm Tofu vs Pigeon Peas Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in firm tofu and pigeon peas.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 96% higher in pigeon peas than in firm tofu. It have 62.8 grams per 100 grams, compared to 2.8 grams in firm tofu.


There’s less sugar in pigeon peas than in firm tofu, 100% precisely.

One handful of pigeon peas (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of firm tofu contains 0.2 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in firm tofu and pigeon peas.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 4.2 grams of fiber per portion, pigeon peas is a better source of fiber than firm tofu which offers 0.6 grams per portion.

Firm Tofu vs Pigeon Peas Fats

Like most other legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, firm tofu and pigeon peas are low in fat.

Fats in firm tofu and pigeon peas are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in firm tofu and pigeon peas:

  • Firm Tofu: 8.7 grams per 100 grams
  • Pigeon Peas: 1.5 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, pigeon peas is 77% lower in saturated fats.

Pigeon Peas and firm tofu contain 0.3 grams and 1.3 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Firm Tofu vs Pigeon Peas Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of firm tofu and pigeon peas.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Firm Tofu has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

However, pigeon peas has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Firm Tofu and pigeon peas contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins firm tofu and pigeon peas contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Firm TofuPigeon Peas
Vitamin A166 IU28 IU
Vitamin C0.2 mg0
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.158 mg0.643 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.102 mg0.187 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.381 mg2.965 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.133 mg1.266 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.092 mg0.283 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)29 µg456 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.01 mg0
Vitamin K2 µg0

Firm Tofu vs Pigeon Peas Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc or, iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the firm tofu and pigeon peas comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Firm Tofu is a better source of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc than pigeon peas.

On the other hand, pigeon peas is a higher amount of calcium, and selenium.

Firm Tofu and pigeon peas contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how firm tofu and pigeon peas compare when it comes to mineral content.

Firm TofuPigeon Peas
Calcium683 mg130 mg
Copper0.378 mg1.057 mg
Iron2.66 mg5.23 mg
Magnesium58 mg183 mg
Manganese1.18 mg1.791 mg
Phosphorus190 mg367 mg
Potassium237 mg1392 mg
Selenium17.4 µg8.2 µg
Sodium14 mg17 mg
Zinc1.57 mg2.76 mg

The Final Word

Firm Tofu and pigeon peas are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both firm tofu and pigeon peas are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Antioxidants found in beans and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes are versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.


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