Monday, March 14, 2011

Jamaican - Rice and Peas

The main ingredients used in the Jamaican cuisine is Ackee( national fruit of Jamaica), Coconut, Cassava, Green banana, Pimento, Scotch bonnet pepper, Yam, Irish potato. Fish  and root vegetables are  most commonly used.  The most popular Jamaican dishes are
dumplings, Jerk chicken, Curried chicken, Curried goat, Callaloo fish, Ackhee and salt fish, Ox tail , cornmeal porridge, pumpkin soup.   !  Rice and peas are used in various countries in  various styles.  Jamaican Rice and peas has a distinctively unique flavour  with the hint of scotch bonnet pepper ,creamy coconut flavour and  mildly seasoned rice with  of Jerk seasoning.  You all know about the benefits of the Red kidney beans.  Rice and peas can be enjoyed by one and all !

Rice - 2 cups, washed and soaked
Red kidney beans - 200 gr. washed, soaked and cooked or 1 can of tinned kidney beans
Garlic - 4 cloves crushed or finely chopped
Scotch bonnet pepper - 1 whole ( uncut) - gives a subtle peppery flavour
Onions - 1 finely chopped
Coconut milk - 1 cup or coconut milk powder added in hot water
Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
fresh thyme - 2 sprigs or dried thyme can also be used
Chicken stock - 2 cups ( Normally the liquid measurement for the rice is 1: 1 and half, adjust accordingly since coconut milk is also added)
Jerk seasoning - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp

Wash and soak the rice and keep it aside.
If you are using tinned beans drain liquid from the can, wash it and keep it aside.
Saute onions and garlic in a pan until translucent. Add tyme, jerk seasoning, salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and drop the uncut scotch bonnet pepper in it and allow it to boil. Once the stock is boiled take off the scotch bonnet pepper and Add the soaked rice and cook until the rice is 1/2 done, now add cooked kidney beans and coconut milk, mix it well and cover with the lid and and put it on low flame and simmer for about 20 - 25 min or spread the rice on a oven proof baking dish, cover and bake for 20- 25 mins at 350 deg C.

Substitutes:  pigeon peas can  be substituted for red kidney beans.
Jalapeno ( read Halapeno) can be substituted for scotchbonnet pepper.
Spring onion can be substituted for onion / shallots.

TipAfter adding the coconut milk rice will easily burn at the bottom  of the pan. It is suggested to bake it in the oven for even cooking.

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