This tasty and aromatic rice dish is one of Jamaica’s national recipes. It’s served every day all over the island and for good reason. It’s made with readily obtainable foods, it’s easy to prepare, it feeds a lot of people, it’s inexpensive and it tastes wonderful! On the tropical island of Jamaica red kidney beans are referred to “peas,” but in reality you are enjoying rice and kidney beans packed with flavor from green and red chili’s, garlic, onion, thyme and coconut milk. The heat level is mild but the flavor index is high! Come on, let’s go build us some Jamaican Rice and Peas!
Here’s what we’ll need.
Jamaican Rice and Peas
- Quick soak the dried kidney beans by putting them in a pan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes. Cover and let sit for one hour then drain and rinse well. Place the soaked beans in a large saucepan, then add 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. Do not drain.
- Mince the chili's and the garlic, then slice the green onion.
- Add the coconut milk, thyme, green onion, chili's, garlic and salt and pepper to the pan.
- Raise the heat to boiling and boil for five minutes uncovered.
- Stir in the rice, cover and simmer gently over very low heat until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. This will take anywhere from 12-20 minutes depending on the brand of rice you use. Watch carefully so it doesn't burn.
- Fluff up the rice and peas with a fork. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot. I'm serving this tonight with Jamaican chicken cooked in coconut milk. Enjoy!
- Wherever Sparky and I travel, we do not eat "American" food however you describe it. We enjoy eating the foods from the country or region we are visiting. I ask for recipes and I buy a cookbook from every travel location. Since we are heading back to Jamaica in another week or so, this gets us in vacation mode!
- Whether you are an armchair traveler or a frequent flyer, I hope you will try some recipes from all over the world. They will perk up your taste buds and you'll be glad you ventured out of your comfort zone. Journey on! Hugs and much love from me, Karen, TJG