Jamaican Rice and peas is Jamaica’s most popular side dish and I am so excited to share this recipe with you. Rice, red peas, fresh coconut milk, and various Jamaican. Sunday dinner is ready!
The Heart Of Jamaican Sunday Dinners
On Sundays, there is a 99.99% chance that most Jamaicans are making rice and pea for dinner. I don’t know how it came about, but rice and peas for Sunday is just the thing.
But it is not exactly a tradition. I assume is came about because we have more time to cook on Sundays and we use the time to make our best and favourite meals.
Peas Or Beans
It can be confusing to none Jamaicans to learn that Jamaican rice and peas is actually made with red kidney beans and not peas. For some reason, Jamaicans call kidney beans peas even though other beans such as butter bean are called bean.
This is why the dish is called rice and peas – and not rice and beans!
Now that all the confusion is out of the way, let us cook this amazing rice dish.
What You Need
Ahh, you’ve always wondered, haven’t you? Here’s what you need. Let me break this down one by one.
- Red kidney beans (peas): I use dry peas for this recipe. The dry peas takes more time to cook so canned peas may be easier if time is of the essence.
- Fresh coconut milk: Coconut milk is key to this dish so it is best to use fresh coconut milk. However, this dish will turn out great if you use canned coconut milk
- Rice: I use easy cook long grain rice. This rice absorb liquid very differently than basmati rice so if you are using basmati rice you will have to adjust the amount of water or coconut milk that you are using.
- Chilli pepper: Use a whole scotch bonnet pepper and add it to the pot with chopping or bursting it. I ran out of scotch bonnet pepper so I used the chilli pepper I had.
- Scallion, pimento (allspice), garlic, gingerthyme, salt: essential flavour base!
Using canned peas and canned coconut milk reduced the cooking time even more. I have also include directions in the recipe for using canned as well.
How to Cook Jamaican Rice And Peas
And the best part – how to make it! In just a few simple steps you will have you rice and peas ready.
Wash and pressure cook the peas for twenty to thirty minutes. If you soak the peas over night you can reduce the pressure cooking time to fifteen to twenty minutes.
Add the ginger and the pimento berries to the pressure cooker to help to soften the peas and add flavour.
Once the peas are soft, add the rest of the ingredients and leave to cook. It is that simpleI
How To Serve Rice And Peas
The most common main dish that rice and peas is served with is fried chicken. Not my favourite main to have with rice and peas, I grew up on fish and it is my favourite.
Kidney Peas Recipes:
More Recipes Using Coconut Milk
- Jamaican run down (rundung)
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Jamaican rice and peas recipe
- 1 Cup Dry red kidney beans (peas)
- 1 ½ Cups Fresh coconut milk
- 1 ½ Cup Rice Washed and drained
- 1 Small red onion Chopped
- 2 Clove garlic Crushed
- 1 Stak of scallions Chopped
- 2 Sprig of thyme
- 1 Scotch bonnet pepper Don't cut or burst
- ½ inch Small piece ginger Gratered
- 5 Pimento barries (allspice)
- 2 tsp Salt or to your taste
- Wash wash peas and put it in a pressure cooker with 3 cups of water, pimento berries and ginger, half the salt and pressure for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Make sure the pressure cooker is cool before you open it.
- Season the pot with the thyme, scallion, onion, garlic.
- Add the rice and coconut milk. The liquid should be about a inch above the rice, if not add more water, stir well.
- Add the scotch bonnet pepper, cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the pot steamed until rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from the heat, remove the thyme stems and Scotch bonnet. Serve!
- If you soak the peas over night, pressure for 15 to 20 minutes.