The Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe you would love to taste!

The Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe you would love to taste!

The Jamaican rice and peas recipe is a very common dish in the Caribbean region. It originated in Jamaica but is now common throughout the Caribbean. Though it is called “rice and peas”, it is actually rice and beans but it is called rice and peas because the Jamaicans call beans ‘peas’. This delicious recipe is commonly made with coconut milk because coconut is very common in the Caribbean. You can make this Jamaican rice and beans without coconut milk if you don’t have one or if you simply don’t like the smell of coconut in your rice.

Ingredients
 Two cups of basmati rice – you can use any type of rice you have. The recipe does not call for a specific type of rice to be used.
 2 cups of red kidney beans or pigeon peas (any type of beans can be used, for this recipe, I used red kidney beans).
 1 and a 1/4 cup of coconut milk if it is homemade or 1/2 of the canned coconut milk. Like I said earlier, it is a requirement for this Jamaican dish but you can make it without adding coconut milk. Not adding coconut milk will not give the real taste of the Jamaican rice and peas but at least you have the taste of the cooked rice and beans in it.
 Sprigs of fresh thyme
 4 Garlic cloves
 2 or 3 tbsp of green seasoning. All the ingredients used in making the green seasoning should be fresh.
 1/2 tsp of ground Pimento (the Jamaican pepper or Allspice). Fresh pimento is preferred.
 Half tsp of Salt
 2 sticks of green onions (spring onions)
 1/2 tbsp of all-purpose seasoning
 2 whole scotch bonnet peppers. Habanero pepper can be substituted for scotch bonnets.


How to Make Jamaican Rice and Peas

A) Soaking the beans in water

Before you cook the beans or the peas, simply soak the beans overnight. Red kidney beans have a thick and smooth shell that can take hours before getting soft when cooking. If you don’t want to waste gas or units cooking the red kidney beans, simply soak the beans overnight and then cook the next morning or soak for some hours (up to 8 hours) with warm or cold water. Warm water makes it soft faster compared to using cold water, but it all depends on when you intend to make the Jamaican rice and peas.

Wash the beans thoroughly and severally to remove dirt and chemicals that might be used for storage.
Next, soak the beans and ensure the water completely covers them.
Add some sprigs of fresh thyme to the soaked beans together with about 3 cloves of garlic; then place on the kitchen top and leave them to rest overnight. Make sure the water used for soaking the beans is clean as you need to use it for cooking the next day.

Using Canned Beans:
If you are making your easy Jamaican rice and peas with canned beans, no need to soak the beans. You can skip the soaking process as the canned beans are already cooked. All you need to do is to drain the water from the canned beans and rinse again with clean cold water and add to your pot.


B) Cooking the peas
The cooking process of Jamaican rice and peas. Red kidney beans being cooked with scallions, allspice, scotch bonnets, all-purpose seasoning, and salt.
In the morning, place a clean pot on the heat and then add the soaked beans into the cooking pot. If the water used for soaking the beans is not enough, you can add 1/2 cup of water or just a glass of water. Instead of water, chicken broth can be added. The chicken broth makes it tastier (chicken broth is commonly used in making rice pilaf).
Now, season your beans with additional sprigs of thyme, 2 sticks of spring onions, 1/2 tsp of allspice, 1/2 tbsp of all-purpose seasoning, and 1/2 tsp of salt; stir everything.
Also, add the coconut milk, the green seasoning, and additional garlic if you like. To the same pot, bring in 2 scotch bonnets and then stir and cover the pot. If you want more heat from your spices, you can increase the number of scotch bonnets or simply make a homemade green seasoning that has lots of spicy ingredients in it.
Now, cook the beans for 1 hour on medium heat until they are fully soft; you can test this by using your fingers to mash the beans. Cooking the beans for an hour helps to ensure the flavor of the ingredients is infused into the beans; it helps the beans to fully cook also.
As the peas are cooking, wash your basmati rice and drain it in a sieve.
An hour after cooking the beans, bring in the drained basmati rice; stir everything together and reduce the heat to low.
Cook the beans and rice for about 15 minutes. Basmati rice doesn’t take long to cook.
After 15 minutes the water should have dried up and the peas and rice should have been cooked. Turn off the heat, remove the sticks of the thyme, and serve your delicious Jamaican peas and rice recipe.

Served Jamaican rice and peas. It can be eaten with Jerk chicken.

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