Jamaican & Caribbean/ Sides

Jamaican Rice & Peas

rice and peas in white bowl on marbled surface

Rice and Peas – a quintessential piece of Jamaican cuisine. Bold flavours from a mix of the thyme, escallion, pimento, scotch bonnet and garlic provide a fragrant, woodsy taste with a slight hint of heat. It’s a must try!

Rice & Peas’ is guaranteed to be at every Jamaican/Caribbean family function – whether holiday parties, birthday and other milestone gatherings, and most definitely apart of the spread on Sunday! This traditional recipe, is know for its aromatic features stemming from the use of thyme, coconut, garlic, pimento – and a slight heat from the scotch bonnet (that’s if it doesn’t burst). I grew up eating, and watching my mom prepare this dish, which is delicious, but my sisters is 2.0 – I can literally eat it on it’s own! There are many variations (i.e. some use ginger, others don’t), and techniques, but this is mine, and I’m glad to share this passed down version – recipe, below!

Recipe Tips and Notes

Soak your Beans – there are many ways in which you can prepare your beans for example, some soak, others use a pressure cooker. For this method, we soak. This will lessen the amount of time it will take for your beans to become tender when cooking.

Type of Peas – typically this dish is made with Red Kidney Beans, this is what gives off the reddish tint. However, you can also substitute with green pigeon peas (aka gungo peas).

Liquid to Rice – you can always add more water, if you’re finding that all the liquid has absorbed but the rice is still not cooked. It better to have less, and add more, than to have too much and end up with mushy rice. When you have added your rice to the pot, liquid should be an about an inch (roughly the first marking from the tip of your index finger) higher when the rice has settled. White rice – approx. 1 inch, brown rice – approx. 2 inches above. Don’t Burn

The Rice – once the rice has been added, you should only be cooking on a low heat – a slight simmer. If not, you run the great risk of burning your rice.

Best Served With – Oxtail, Jerk Chicken, Brown Stew Chicken

Jamaican Rice & Peas

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Rice and Peas - a quintessential piece of Jamaican cuisine. Bold flavours from a mix of the thyme, escallion, pimento, scotch bonnet and garlic provide a fragrant, woodsy taste with a slight hint of heat. It's a must try!

Ingredients

  • Ingredients (to soak beans)
  • 1 cup Dried Red Kidney Beans rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Escallion or Green Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Thyme Sprigs
  • Ingredients (for cooking)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Whole Scotch Bonnet
  • 5 Pimento Seeds (Whole Allspice Balls)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp Grace Chicken Noodle Soup Mix (only seasoning - not noodles) or, Chicken Bouillon/ Seasoning Salt
  • ¾ can Coconut Milk see notes section
  • 2 cups Rice (white, brown, Basmati, Jasmin etc.)

Instructions

1

Rinse beans.

2

In a medium bowl (with a lid), add beans, water, escallion, garlic, and thyme. Cover and allow to soak overnight - see notes section.

3

In a large pot, add water, scotch bonnet, pimento seeds, salt and pour in bean mixture (including the water, which is now infused with flavour). Bring to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally. Ensure there is enough water to cover the beans - you may need to add an additional cup of water at the halfway point. The boiling process to cook the beans, will take anywhere between 30min to an hour depending on how long you've soaked your beans.

4

When beans tender, stir in coconut milk, seasoning, and allow to boil for 5-7min.

5

Add rinsed rice, cover and simmer over low heat for about 20-30 mins or until liquid has absorbed; adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a very gentle simmer.

6

Remove from the heat and let steam for 10 minutes, then discard the thyme sprigs, escallion, pimento seeds and scotch bonnet.

7

Using a fork, fluff the rice and beans.

8

Serve hot and enjoy!

9

Rule of thumb: after adding rice to pot, water should be an inch higher when the rice has settled. White rice - approx. 1 inch, brown rice - approx. 2 inches above.

Notes

a. If using Pure Creamed Coconut, break off 2 generous chunks to fill middle of hand - a little less than half the block if using the Grace Brand. b. Use the back of a large chef/ butcher knife to crush garlic. c. Some beans are harder than others, if you see some floating to the top when boiling, add a tbsp or two of cold water to sink the beans. This will ensure all been are evenly cooked through.

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