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Food & Drink Blog

Monday Meal: Jamaican Rice and Peas

by Ted Scheffler
- Posted // 2013-06-24 -

In last week's Monday Meal, I shared my favorite recipe for Jamaican jerk chicken with you. Often, jerk chicken is served with rice and peas, which is this week's recipe.  

You might notice from the photos that there are no peas involved in Jamaican rice and peas. In Jamaica, "pigeon peas" are often used for this dish, but kidney beans are regularly used, too.

Jamaican rice and peas is a great side dish, but you could also turn it into a vegetarian main dish and serve it with a side salad of fruit or greens.


1 scallion, minced

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

1/2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves, plus a sprig or two for garnish (I used lemon thyme here, which has a nice flavor for this dish.) 

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup long-grain rice

1 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil

1 cup lite coconut milk

1 cup water 

1 whole Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper (optional)

1/2 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed well



In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add the scallion, thyme and garlic and saute briefly, about a minute. Try not to burn the garlic, like I did in this photo! 


Add the water and coconut milk to the pan and bring to a boil.


Add the rice, salt and Scotch bonnet pepper. Stir, lower heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. It will be a little gummy.




Over the heat, gently fold the kidney beans into the rice so as not to smash them. Allow the beans to just warm through; a couple of minutes. 


Serve garnished with thyme sprigs. The rice and peas are pictured here with Jamaican jerk chicken. For that recipe, click here


Photos by Ted Scheffler

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