JAMAICAN RICE AND PEAS

JAMAICAN RICE AND PEAS

Brought to us by Turner from Coco Yogo

This dish was inspired by my love for Thai food and my British husband’s love for curry and, because I am not a big meat eater, this combination of rice and peas with veggie curry hits the spot for both of us.  You could call it a Jamaican Thai fusion. I follow a strict dairy and gluten free diet due to multiple food intolerances, so these dishes are completely dairy and gluten free as well as vegan.

For the rice and peas:

2 cups dried kidney beans
4 cups water
2-3 cups basmati rice
2 spring onions, chopped
1 Scotch bonnet pepper
1 tsp salt
1 can coconut cream
3 sprigs dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, crushed

For the vegetable curry:

2 sweet potatoes, diced
4 carrots, diced
1 pumpkin, diced
1 handful kale, chopped
1 tbsp tumeric
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsps green or red curry paste
1 tbsp turmeric
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt to taste
120 ml melted coconut butter
2-3 cups water

 

For the fried plantains:

Plantains

 

 

Ingredients:

Preparation:

For the rice and peas:

  1. Kidney beans need to be cooked until tender. I use a pressure cooker (This is the Jamaican way). You add the dried beans with the water and pressure cook for approximately 30 minutes. We tend to cook the peas the day before in order to get a head start. Jamaican cooking is very labour intensive. If you choose to buy pre-cooked kidney beans you can eliminate this step.
  2. The cooked beans along with the liquid should be placed on a medium heat. If you are using pre-cooked beans from a can, you should use the liquid along with the beans. Once the contents have reached boiling point, you then add the coconut cream along with the whole scotch bonnet pepper. You only need the aroma from the pepper. I personally do not like overly peppery food. Scotch bonnet peppers are seasonal and can be found at certain supermarkets and sometimes sold pre-packed along with other types of peppers. Also add the salt, garlic and thyme. It is recommended at this stage to taste the peas and coconut mixture. You may need to add some more salt or seasoning, depending on your preference. Lower the heat but allow the mixture to boil steadily until the coconut and kidney beans mixture has reduced slightly.
  3. It is now time to add your rice, which needs to be properly pre washed until the water is no longer cloudy. This part can be tricky. After I have added the rice, I tip the pot slightly to one side. If I cannot see the rice, there is too much liquid and some needs to be removed. Do not discard it. Set it aside in a cup. Use a fork and stir everything together. Lower the heat, and cover with the lid of your pressure cooker but do not engage the valve. You want to keep as much steam inside as possible. After the first 15 minutes or so, you may need to check that the rice is not burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot. It won’t harm to give it a good stir. Cover the pot again and let it continue to cook. The time will vary depending on whether you are using gas or electric. You can check at intervals and taste. If at this point you think the rice mixture is too dry you can add some of the liquid that you removed. I do not like clumpy rice, so
I prefer to add additional liquid sparingly. Once the rice grains are tender, your rice is cooked.
  4. Leave the cooked rice covered. It actually tastes better a few hours later.

 

For the vegetable curry:

  1. Use a pot of your choice. Heat the oil until very hot, add all the seasoning and stir quickly.
  2. Add the curry paste and keep stirring.
  3. Add the chopped up veggies excluding (the kale).
  4. Add the turmeric and make sure everything is mixed together and properly coated.
  5. Cover with a lid and lower the heat. This will make the mixture sweat and soften and allow the flavours to seep in. Just when everything is nice and soft you need to add the water, and cook until the vegetables are soft but not mushy. By now the mixture will have thickened up a bit. At this stage you need to turn off the heat but do not remove the pot from the cooker. Add the kale and coconut butter, mix everything together and keep it covered. You should have a nice thick creamy curry sauce.

 

For the fried plantains:

  1. In the supermarket plantains are sold as big bananas
and you will nd them in the banana section. The plantains need to be completely ripe. You can buy these a few days ahead and keep them in a warm place. You can use as
many plantains as you like. These will not peel like normal bananas. Use a knife and slit the skin horizontally from top to bottom. Run your finger under the slit to remove the skin in one go. You will now have a whole plantain in your hand. I prefer to slice this lengthwise after I have cut it in half. Some people may prefer to fry them as round slices.
  2. Heat your skillet or frying pan. Fry the slices of plantain on either side until they are golden brown and drain on
a paper towel.
  3. Your dish should be ready to serve: a few pieces of fried plantain, a cup of rice and peas with a few spoonful of the veggie curry.

Serves:

4 - 6 people

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