This easy to prepare and delicious Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe is a must try! It has long grain brown rice and is cooked in seasoned coconut milk for a true taste of the island.
Jamaican Rice And Peas Recipe is one of my all-time favorite dishes to make. I have been making this dish since I was a child, except that I used white rice instead of brown. Now my favorite rice to use is Lundberg Organic Jasmine Rice.
Back home in Jamaica, we refer to kidney beans as peas, hence the name. Traditionally rice and peas is eaten every Sunday for dinner, using dried kidney beans that are soaked the night before and freshly squeezed coconut milk. Thyme, the herb of choice, and scotch bonnet pepper are added to the pot whole for flavor. Be careful not to open the pepper, because it is extremely hot.
Normally when I make this dish, I don’t use a recipe; I just make sure the rice has enough water and that I have all the ingredients listed. If the water dries out I add a little extra water and I’m good to go. No formal gathering in Jamaica is complete without some rice and peas…I hope you enjoy this little taste of the tropics in the convenience of your home! I love to serve my rice and peas with Baked Plantains and Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower
Fresh beans and coconut milk are the preferred ingredients but living here in the USA is difficult for me to find fresh coconut. My favorite coconut milk in a can that doesn’t have preservative is:
I grew up in Jamaica where I would help my mother in preparing the coconut milk. I would pick the coconut, remove the husk using a machete and crack the shell open. Then remove the coconut flesh with a knife and grate it using a fine grater. I would then squeeze the milk with added water and strain. This was all done by hand, and it was quite a task, but it was worth it because nothing beats the flavor of fresh coconut milk.
In Jamaica, we use pigeon peas or kidney beans. You can use either or, and as a matter of fact, I have used almost any kind of beans I have on hand. I have used lentil, black beans, and pinto beans with yummy results. So go ahead and be creative and break some traditions!
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For: 12 servings
- 3/4 cup dried kidney beans or pigeon peas, or (1-15 ounce can)
- 3 cups long grain brown rice
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 1/2 cups water divided
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-inch fresh ginger, grated
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 whole Scotch Bonnet pepper, or habanero
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, (optional)
- 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- If using dried kidney beans, rinse and sort beans and place into a large pot. Cover with approximately three inches of water and soak overnight. (If using canned beans, place beans in a large pot, and start at Step 4. )
- The following day, drain and rinse beans and place into a large pot. Add approximately 1 1/2 cups water and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 45 minutes. Add extra water if necessary.
- Add coconut milk, remaining water, onion, spring onion, garlic, ginger, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, allspice, and salt.
- Add rice and stir with a fork to combine, check to make sure there the liquid is about 1 1/2 inches above the rice.
- Cover pot, bring to boil again. Reduce heat and cook for about 45 minutes- 1 hour.
- Depending on the variety of rice, it may take less time. Fluff with a fork and serve.