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Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe

Why It Works

  • Coconut milk provides richness (to not point out its wonderful taste).
  • A mix of allspice, scallions, thyme, ginger, and Scotch bonnet pepper infuses the rice with a delicate depth.

Rice and peas to Jamaicans, peas and rice on different islands—irrespective of the identify, dishes composed of rice and peas or beans play a major position as a mainstay of the diets on most islands of the Caribbean. Rice and peas is believed to have come to Jamaica through the Trans-Atlantic slave commerce from West Africa, the place rice was a staple of the native weight loss plan.

Severe Eats / Vicky Wasik


Enslaved Africans who arrived within the colonies introduced with them elements and cooking methods from dwelling, which they handed to their descendants born on the plantations. As Sundays had been the one days on the plantations that the enslaved had free, rice and peas is mostly believed to have been consumed on a Sunday, as it could have been a extra labor-intensive and time-consuming dish to organize the remainder of the week. This custom continues as we speak. Whereas rice and peas is out there on most restaurant and cookshop menus throughout Jamaica and is loved through the week, it nonetheless seems as an important and, one might say, needed, element of a Jamaican Sunday lunch in houses all throughout the island. 

Jamaican rice and peas is notable from different rice and bean dishes for 2 distinct traits: coloration and taste. Our rice and peas is made with what we in Jamaica name pink peas, in any other case often known as kidney beans, which, when soaked and boiled in coconut milk, coloration the rice and the pot’s contents with a light-weight reddish brown hue. The flavour of Jamaican rice and peas is the opposite unforgettable trait. A delicate, barely candy coconut aroma encompasses each chunk; this, mixed with Jamaica’s important quintet of seasonings—Scotch bonnet, thyme, scallion, ginger, and garlic—provides as much as a memorable addition to any meal.

Severe Eats / Vicky Wasik


After the peas soak in a single day, they’re boiled till tender in a pot of water and coconut milk seasoned with salt, garlic, and a bit of mashed ginger (ginger is non-obligatory, however we love the zing it provides to the ultimate dish). At this level, the rice is added, together with extra seasonings: a number of sprigs of thyme, pimento, scallion, and one entire Scotch bonnet pepper. The pot is roofed and turned right down to simmer, and the rice, peas, and seasonings cook dinner collectively till the water is absorbed. The tip result’s a dish of chic perfection—in the event you get crispy rice on the underside, even higher. Jamaicans name it bun bun, and it’s typically a coveted ingredient of the dish.  

Severe Eats / Vicky Wasik


 

For a lot of Jamaicans, rice and peas is made even higher by the addition of a spoonful, or three, of no matter gravy that goes with the protein on the desk; actually, it may very well be thought-about the spotlight of the meal. Rice and peas is a superb complement to any menu that requires a rice dish of substance to reinforce proteins like beef, hen, lamb, or pork. Our household all the time cooks a roast leg of lamb for Christmas dinner, and whereas we love the traditional accompaniment of  roasted potatoes, all of us desire our rice and peas, particularly when laced with scrumptious lamb gravy. 

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