Rice & Peas Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans (soaked overnight for faster cooking, or use 2 cans drained & rinsed)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional, keep whole for flavor, remove before serving)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice

Instructions:

Prep:

Kidney Beans:

  • Soaked: Drain the beans.
  • Canned: Drain and rinse the beans.

Spice Prep:

  • If using a whole Scotch bonnet pepper, lightly poke it with a knife to release flavors without it breaking apart.

Cook:

  • Sauté: Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and scallion. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Spice and Simmer: Add the thyme, allspice, scotch bonnet (if using), coconut milk, water, salt, pepper, and kidney beans (soaked or canned). Bring to a simmer.

Cook the Beans:

  • Soaked beans: Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until beans are tender, about 45-60 minutes. Add more water as needed if the pot gets dry.
  • Canned beans: Simmer with the spices for 10 minutes to infuse flavors.

Add Rice:

  • Stir in the rice. Make sure the liquid covers the rice (add a bit more water if needed).
  • Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.

Cover and Cook:

  • Immediately reduce heat to low, cover tightly, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Rest:

  • Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. This helps the rice become fluffy.

Finish:

  • Remove the Scotch bonnet pepper (if used).
  • Fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

Tips:

  • Bean Choice: You can use other beans like pigeon peas for a more traditional flavor.
  • Spice Level: Adjust or omit the Scotch bonnet entirely based on your heat preference.
  • Creamier Rice: Add a little extra coconut milk for extra richness.
  • Make it Your Own: Add chopped bell peppers, carrots, or other vegetables during the sautéing stage for extra flavor and nutrition.

Enjoy your delicious and authentic Jamaican Rice and Peas!

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