A LICCLE* HISTORY
Rice and peas is a staple dish in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and many other English-speaking Caribbean islands. Rice and peas is traditionally, but not exclusively, eaten with the Sunday meal. The dish is made with rice and any available legume, such as kidney beans, pigeon peas (known as gungo peas), or cowpeas. Gungo peas are particularly associated with Christmas. Rice and peas, the classic Sunday lunch dish, is usually served with a stewed chicken, jerk chicken, or seafood such as escovitch fish, shrimp, crab or king fish. The Jamaican version of this dish derived from the Akan cuisine Waakye and is made in a similar way except without Millet leaves, baking soda and stews.
* Patois (Jamaican Dialect) for little
TO MAKE THIS THE SIMPLE WAY, YOU’LL NEED
2 cups of white rice (or brown if preferred)
3 cups water
1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 scallion (chopped)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 cans DARK red kidney beans (19 oz)
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of black pepper
A hot pepper (scotch bonnet or habanero) *optional
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
Boil both cans of red kidney beans in 3 cups of water over medium heat. Add the garlic powder, scallion, thyme, salt, black pepper, hot pepper, onion, allspice and ginger. Once the beans appear to be soften, add the coconut milk.
Next you will add the rice. Before adding the rice be sure to rinse the rice off in cold water until the water runs clear. Once you add the rice allow the pot to boil for 25 minutes.
Stir every 5 minutes, while making sure that the liquid is still covering the beans. If you find that the liquid is drying up too fast, turn down the heat a bit. TIP: to make sure the rice is fully cooked, take a few grains and taste it to make sure it is soft and not grainy. If after 20 minutes you find that the rice is not fluffy, turn up the heat (remove the lid) and cook until the remaining liquid has evaporated.
In the last 10 minutes of cooking is where you can determine how well the rice is cooked. Griany vs. Sticky. With the use of coconut milk and the fact that the rice contains starch it’s very easy to go creamy and sticky. If you do not like sticky rice keep the heat between the medium and high setting, and allow the water to evaporate quicker. The faster the water boils down, the less sticky the rice will be.
Once the 25 minutes have passed, your rice is ready to be plated with your desired meat. I prefer jerk chicken or stew chicken.
*If you find that your rice is not fully cooked and your liquid is gone, simply add some boiling water to the pot and continue cooking.