Rice and peas, not peas and rice, is uniquely Jamaican as rum and coconut water. The delectable dish is a staple in almost every Jamaican home on Sundays.
This Sunday here is a recipe from Enid Donaldson’s popular book of Jamaican recipes, – “The Real Taste of Jamaica” to have a delicious dish of rice and peas with your Sunday dinner.
Rice and peas usually consists of white rice and red kidney beans. Although there is another rice and peas dish made from green or dried gungo peas, when Jamaicans make reference to rice and peas they are normally referring to red kidney beans.
The proportions vary from household to household, but a ¼ pint of dried or a ½ pint of freshly picked red peas to I pound of rice is adequate. Dried peas are are put on in cold water.
¼ pint of dried red peas
1lb of white/brown rice
2 stalks of scallion
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 dry coconut (or 1 tin of coconut milk)
- Wash peas well before soaking for two hours. Boil in the same water until cooked enough. (Test that peas is soft). Make sure there isn’t too much water in the pot, as coconut milk is to be added.
- When peas are well cooked, add coconut milk either from grated coconut or tin. Bring liquid mix of water and coconut milk to about twice or 21/2 times the quantity of rice to be used. See that pea grains are not broken.
- When peas are fully cooked, add seasoning. Wash rice and add it to boiled peas and liquid mix. Turn up heat on the stove until the mix boils. When liquid boils again, reduce heat and cook on slow fire/heat. Rice should be tender, and all the liquid absorbed. (Near the end of cooking time, if the grains are not quite cooked (soft), it is advisable not to add more water. A piece of Saran wrap can be placed on top of the rice and cover pot. This usually finish the cooking satisfactorily).
- When cooked, stir with a fork before serving.
This quantity of ingredients serves 6 diners.
Editors note: Though not included in Ms. Donaldson’s recipe, there is the option of adding a whole Scotch-bonnet pepper with the seasoning to give the dish a more spicy flavor.
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