Kidney beans, also called red peas in Jamaica, are the most common legumes used in stews, soups, and cooked in rice with coconut milk. Traditionally ‘stew peas’ is cooked with salted beef, oxtail or pig’s tail, but here I present a vegan version that would please the palate of the most skeptic. The stew also contains a Jamaican version of unleavened dumplings also known as spinners, they are also usually made with white flour but I used whole wheat pastry flour instead for added vitamins, minerals and fiber. The stew is cooked in coconut milk and flavored with thyme, onions, scotch bonnet pepper. I used whole scotch bonnet pepper for more of the authentic flavor and not the spicy heat. Coconut milk is an essential component of this stew and many other Jamaican dishes. It’s cheaper to use fresh coconuts to make your own milk, or else use one 16 oz. can.
2 cups dried kidney beans
6 cups water
2 cups coconut milk
1 onion, minced and/or 2 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
1 ½ - 2 tsp sea salt or to taste
1 sprig thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
1 whole scotch bonnet pepper (with stem intact)
¼ tsp ginger (optional)
¼ tsp ground all spice optional
Spinners (recipe follows)
Soaking beans night before
Ingredients I used
Cooking on the stove
Sort and wash beans, soak in water overnight or for at least 8 hours. The following day discard water and rinse beans, place in a saucepan with water and bring to boil, lower heat to simmer until tender for about 1 hour. Add coconut milk and vegetables carrots, onion, garlic, and continue simmering. Add spinners and thyme and other seasonings, simmer for another 30 minutes or until sauce is thick. Discard pepper before serving.
½ cup whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat pastry)
¼ cup water
Place flour and salt in a bowl. Add water and mix to make a stiff dough. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into the palm of hands to make long thin dumplings. Drop into simmering stew.
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