Rice and Peas (Jamaica)

rice and beans in a bowl

Total time

2 hours

Serves

6–8

Recipe by Paulette Daley.

Ingredients

  • Rice and Peas 
  • 3/4 cup dried red peas (red kidney beans). Or canned red peas can be used.
  • 1 lb rice
  • 2 stalks escallion
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 5 pimento seeds
  • 1 Scotch bonnet (or habanero) pepper
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 14 oz milk from 1 dry coconut - recipe below (or 1 can of coconut milk)
  • 2 1/2 cups water if making with canned peas; 2 cups water if using dried peas
  • Coconut milk
  • 1 dry coconut
  • 14 oz water

Steps — Using dried red peas

  1. If using dried peas, rinse and sort beans and place them into a container. Add enough tap water to cover the peas by 2 inches. Cover the container and place in the fridge overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse peas. Cook peas, 1 tsp of salt, garlic, and 2 cups of water on medium-low until peas are nearly cooked (about 45 minutes). Replenish water as needed until peas are almost cooked.
  3. When peas are nearly cooked, add coconut milk, escallion, onion, thyme, pimento, Scotch bonnet pepper, sugar, and remaining salt. Cook until liquid is reduced to about twice the quantity of rice.*
  4. Add the rice, bring to a boil, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 30–40 minutes.
  5. Depending on the variety of rice, it may take less or more time. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Steps — Using canned peas

  1. Add canned peas, 2 1/2 cups water, coconut milk, escallion, garlic cloves, onion, thyme, pimento, Scotch bonnet pepper, sugar, and salt to a saucepan.
  2. Cook for 20 minutes on medium-high or until liquid is reduced to about twice the quantity of rice.*
  3. Add the rice, bring to a boil, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for about 30–40 minutes.
  4. Depending on the variety of rice, it may take less or more time. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Steps — Coconut milk

  1. Extract water from coconut by boring a hole in one of the eyes.
  2. Crack the shell and ease the coconut flesh from the shell.
  3. Cut up coconut and blend in blender with tap water until pureed.
  4. Squeeze mixture through strainer to extract milk. Flavor and strength of the coconut milk depends on the amount of water used.