Jamaican Rice & Peas

Jamaican Rice & Peas

Jamaican rice and peas are a wonderful rice accompaniment to Jamaican food or a standalone dish in itself. The rice is cooked in stock and coconut milk for a fantastic flavour along with spices, thyme and kidney beans for texture and goodness. I hope you'll give this a go as it is absolutely delicious!

Rice and Peas was derived from a dish called Waakye a dish from the Akan tribe from Ghana and the Ivory Coast in West Africa. The most popular day for eating rice and peas was Sunday and this practice hails from the 17th century slave trade where Sundays were the only days that slaves were given off. Nowadays it is so popular that it appears everywhere and on all occasions, special or not and is even dubbed the "Jamaican Coat of Arms"!

Peas are actually kidney beans and here is a quick version using tinned kidney beans. Usually dried kidney beans are used in Jamaican rice and peas but I never seem to think ahead of time enough. Importantly, the best rice to use is a long grain rice. Basmati or jasmine rice also works but avoid short grain rice or Japanese koshihikari rice.

Jamaican Rice & Peas

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

Serves: 8 as a side to curry or meat

Rice and Peas:

  • 2 cups/360g/12.7ozs uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 cup/250ml/8.8flozs. coconut cream
  • 2 cups/500ml/16.9flozs. chicken stock
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 800g/28ozs. tinned kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Step 1 - Rinse the rice in a large pot and then add all of the ingredients (onion, garlic, coconut cream, stock, whole chilli , thyme and kidney beans) to the saucepan with the rice. Set to high and when it starts bubbling turn down to the lowest temperature and steam for 20 minutes (make sure not to remove lid during this time). You can discard the chilli once the rice is cooked.

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