Jamaica Rice and peas is made up of rice cooked in pre-cooked red kidney beans and seasoned in a unique Jamaican way. However, other peas and beans such as gungo peas (pidgeon peas), black eye peas, red beans are also used to make rice and peas.
There is usually a lot of green gungo peas available in December, so Christmas rice and peas in Jamaica is usually made with green gungo peas.
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Jamaica Green Gungo Rice and Peas
Rice and peas is a major part of Jamaicans’ staple diet. It is served to compliment almost every Jamaican dish – chicken, curries, stew, jerk, fish, ackee and salt fish – you name it and it is especially served as part of the Sunday dinner.
How to cook Jamaica Rice and Peas I hear you thinking! Ok, here is how I cook rice and peas using the dried kidney beans or peas.
Jamaica dried red peas
My rice and peas recipe.
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Red peas rice and peas
** Ensure beans are cooked to taste before adding rice.
NB: Feel free to add more or substitute the seasonings. Remove remnants of crushed garlic and whole pepper before serving. The coconut milk gives it that authentic Jamaican taste but if you don’t like coconut milk, you can leave that out too.
When done the rice and kidney beans/peas will combine and should be loose and easy to serve. Serve with your favourite meat or vegetarian dish.
If using fresh green gungo or other green beans, you will need to cook the green beans for 30/40 mins before adding seasonings and rice.
Jamaican Green Gungo Peas
Traditional Jamaican cooks (mostly seniors) may insist on home made coconut milk by grating the dried coconut and extracting the milk but adding water and straining.
The nearest to this type of preparation(for the modern cook) is to cut the dried coconut in small pieces and blend with water and strain.
If you want to jazz up your rice and peas to the max, try preparing the coconut milk the from - it really does make a difference but for me, I will take the much easier route of the tinned or already prepared coconut milk available in most supermarkets. Sachets with dried coconut milk are also available.
If there is no time to soak dried beans the next best way to cook them quickly is in a pressure cooker.
If you use a rice cooker, combine the rice with the cooked beans/peas, coconut milk and seasoning and place everything in your rice cooker and set your timer.
If you have no time to cook dried beans/peas - You can use tinned kidney bean/peas which are already cooked.
Do you have a great Jamaican recipe? Share it!