Jamaican Rice and Peas

Photo by Carlington Wilmot

Summer/Fall 2006

    • Dried red peas (kidney beans), 4-5 ozs
    • 2 stalks escallion
    • Thyme
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • Milk from one dry coconut 1(see below)
    • 1 pound rice


      1. Wash peas well before soaking (for two hours) and boil in the same water until cooked enough. (Do not use too much water if will also be added.) Soaking is not required if beans are freshly picked.
      2. When peas are nearly cooked, add milk from dry coconut, bringing liquid to about two or two and a half times the amount of rice to be used. See that pea grains are not broken.
      3. When peas are cooked, add seasoning.
      4. Wash rice and add to peas. When water boils again, reduce heat and cook on slow fire. Rice should be tender and all the liquid absorbed. (Near the end of cooking time, if the grains or rice are not quite cooked, it is not advisable to add more water. Instead, place a piece of plastic wrap instead of foil on top of rice and cover. This usually finishes the rice satisfactorily.)
      5. When cooked, stir with a fork before serving.

NOTE: The amount and type of peas (dried gungo and green peas are also used when in season) vary from household to household. If using gungo or green peas, use double the amount of red peas called for in the recipe.


      • 1 dry coconut
      • Water


      1. Punch holes in the 'eyes' of the coconut and pour water in a glass. (Makes a refreshing drink)
      2. Crack open the coconut and ease the white flesh from the shell.
      3. Grate the coconut flesh or cut into into cubes and puree in blender or food processor with water.
      4. Squeeze mixture through strainer to extract milk. The flavour and strength of the milk depends on the amount of water used. 5.Yields about 1/2 cup.

-By Enid Donaldson-Mignotte

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