Rice and peas
My journey with Jamaican rice and peas began a few years ago when I visited a local Caribbean restaurant that sold a variety of delicacies containing a very special ingredient called Jerk spice which is also known as “Jerk seasoning”. I began going there regularly after a shopping trip and before you know it, I was hooked. If I was not buying a beef patty, it had to be rice and peas with either jerk chicken, jerk lamb, or oxtail stew. When you are out and about and get the smell of Jerk spices on your way home; you know its time for some rice and peas with Jerk chicken.
Now our days, rice and peas are not only sold in restaurants but also in market squares, etc. I love Caribbean food and very excited to share with you all my own version of how I make rice and Peas. Rice and peas are a family dish in my opinion as we enjoy eating this on weekends. The aroma that comes out of the kitchen when cooking this dish is just an understatement.
The traditional recipe is known for its fragrant use of thyme and coconut. This version uses coconut milk, but for the same recipe using creamed coconut (the liquid measurements are different). Some use Gungo Peas and others use red kidney beans. I use a mix of gungo peas and black kidney beans which are both very nutritious vegetables are popular in the making of Rice and Peas. This combo takes your rice and peas to another level and cannot wait to share my recipe will you all.
Let us get cooking !
1 can (19oz) Black Kidney beans
1 can (19oz) Gungo peas
1 can (14 oz) Coconut milk
2 cloves Garlic chopped
1 spring onion. You can choose to slice into 2 which will give an extra flavour to the dish or chop into small pieces.
1 scotch bonnet pepper. If you don’t want the heat, remove the inner seeds. ideal especially if cooking for kids as you do not want to the dish to be too spicy for their palette.
2 tbps Dried thyme
1 tsp pimento seeds; Grind to powder. I use a small mortar to do this
1½ to 2 tsp Salt to taste
1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder Basmati rice (rinsed and drained). You can also use long grain rice if that is your preference
Method of preparation
Drain the liquid from the can of beans and peas into a bowl. Wash and add to a pot with a little bit of warm water. At this stage, you will add the chopped garlic and allow it to boil for 10 minutes. please note if using peas or beans from a packet, soak for 2 hours in cold water and boil for about 30 to 40 minutes. This will allow both beans and peas to soften. Once boiled, add the can of coconut milk and enough water if needed depending on how many cups of rice you want to use for the dish. I used 3 cups of rice so I used an additional 2 cups of water as I already added water to the pot when boiling the beans at the beginning. After adding your coconut milk, you will then go ahead and add your remaining ingredients such as the spring onions, scotch bonnet, thyme, sea salt, pimento seeds that you blended, all-purpose seasoning, black pepper, garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Add rice and boil on High for 2 minutes. Turn heat to low during the rest of your cooking and to steam the rice, you can use foil paper and cook covered until all water is absorbed (about 15 to 20 min). Fluff with fork before serving.0