Saturday, August 18, 2012

Jamaican Rice and Peas (Kidney Beans)

Every Sunday in Jamaica, you know what your neighbor is cooking...yes, rice and peas. Across the country, we have our little secret ways of making our rice and peas. From a spoon of sugar, an uncut scotch bonnet pepper, a packet of season all, etc. no matter what it is, we all end up with a sumptuous version of half of our week's best dinner. The other half depends on the meat of choice for that day, mostly chicken or fish, but whatever the heart desires may be paired with this side and go damn well with it.

2 Cups of Rice
1Cup Kidney Beans Uncooked or a Can of Cooked Bean
1 Can Coconut Milk
2 Stalks of Scallions (Green Onions)
1 Slice of Onion Chopped Finely
1 Tsp Sugar
1Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Thyme
1 Clove of Garlic
1Tsp of Coconut Oil 
All Purpose Seasoning

Boil kidney beans in 4 cups of water until tender if you chose this option. Add coconut milk, 1 cup of water, salt, sugar, scallion, onion, garlic and thyme, and cook for 15 minutes. Wash and add rice and all purpose seasoning and coconut oil, stir to distribute the flavors, and cook on low - medium heat for 10-30 minutes.Add water if needed after a few minutes. The time depends on the type of rice you use. I used basmati rice in the picture above and it took about 12 minutes. If you choose long grain it will take about 20-25 minutes, brown rice will set you back a good 30 minutes. For best results, follow the cooking instructions as it relates to the time on the package of the rice that you use.

If you chose the pre-cooked beans, empty can in two cups of water and add all ingredients except the rice. Cook for 15 minutes and then add rice, coconut oil, and all purpose seasoning. Stir and cook for 10-30 minutes. Follow instructions above regarding the time differences. Add more water if needed. Let rice and peas sit for 5 minutes before you serve.

This pairs well with plantain, and any meat you are in the mood to cook (cough cough,  delicious oxtail).

Happy eating!