Recipe #4: Jamaican Rice and Peas

10 Feb

Rice and Peas is one of those dishes that every Jamaican knows and loves. Every time I have said Rice and Peas to a friend, they ask me, “what it’s made with?” I always say “usually kidney beans.” The reply I get back is, “well, why do you call it rice and peas?” LOL

Listen, I don’t know!! Either way in Jamaica, Rice and Peas is Rice and Peas, even if it’s made with beans.

Here is the recipe from the book.

  • 1 cup red kidney beans
  • 1 mature coconut
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 lb salt beef or pigs tail
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 slices hot pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 stalk escallion, crushed
  • 2 1/4 cups rice
  • black pepper
  • salt

If you are doubtful about the of your beans soak the over night.  To make coconut mile, add the water to the grated coconut, mix well, squeeze the coconut with your hand to extract as much milk as possible, and then press through a sieve. Or just add the packet of coconut cream to the water.

Clean the beans of any grit and wash them.  Put them in a medium-sized pan which has a tight fitting lid.  Add he coconut milk and the salt beef or pig’s tail.  Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and cook until the beans are tender- the time will vary according to their age, but they should be cooked in 1-2 hour if they  are dried, less if they are fresh.  Add the thyme, hot pepper, garlic, escallion, and black pepper, and salt if needed.  Simmer for a few minutes, then add the rice.

The water, coconut mixture should be an inch above the rice.  cover the bot, bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low.  The rice will be ready one the water is all absorbed and the grains are separate.

Here is what I did:

First of all, I did not plan on getting whole coconuts or boiling kidney beans for 1- 2 hours.  “Ain’t nobody got time for that”  LOL. I just used regular canned beans, and either kidney or black beans work fine.

I didn’t measure the water or coconut milk, because I am going to tell you a trick my dad showed me for cooking rice!

I pour water in about 1/3 the pot, poured in the coconut milk and added all of the other ingredients, except for the rice and the canned beans.  Boiled the coconut milk and water mixture for a minute. IMAG0091

Then, I added the beans from the can. Let that boil another minute.

After I added rice.   I never can tell how much rice to put in the pot, and the water gets so cloudy, I can’t tell whether it is one inch from the top.  (Here is the trick!) So my dad  said, from his days in the back country making rice and pour the rice in the center of the pot until it you can see the tip of the mountain it forms.  Stir the pot and form another mound.


The mound is on the left side of the pot

This is the mound.

That little bit of rice you see.

Then stir and cover the pot. I turned the fire to low, and WALLAH!! I lifted to cover at the very end to let some of the steam out.

Perfect rice and peas. The color is so gorgeous, because of the beans, and delicious!


Finished Pot of Rice and Peas


3 Responses to “Recipe #4: Jamaican Rice and Peas”

  1. Delphanie February 10, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    Looks awesome!

  2. Jessica July 2, 2013 at 2:46 am #

    I love rice and peas. Thanks for the recipe!

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