My Recipe Box

Jamaican Rice & Peas


Serves 8 to 10

This is really a rice and beans dish, but in Jamaica, beans are called peas. It's traditionally served alongside Jerk Chicken or Jerk Pork.

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2-inch piece ginger, unpeeled, crushed with a mallet or the side of a knife
  • 10 whole allspice berries
  • 5 oz. (3/4 cup) dried red kidney beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 can (about 14 oz.) coconut milk
  • 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 scallion, root trimmed
  • 2 cups raw long-grain rice
  • 1 fresh Scotch bonnet chile or habanero

Tie the garlic, ginger, and allspice berries in a small cheescloth pouch. In a 3-qt.ovenproof pot, combine the pouch, beans, coconut milk, and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the beans are soft, 1-1/4 to 2 hours. If necessary, add more water during cooking to keep the beans covered.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Add the salt, pepper, thyme, and scallion to the beans. Add the rice and enough water to cover the rice by about 1 inch (about 2 cups). Bring to a boil and add the whole chile; don't break, crack, or cut the chile.

Cover and bake until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the chile, thyme sprigs, scallion, and ginger-garlic pouch before serving.

Photo: Scott Phillips

My husband is Jamaican and I have tried for 19 years to make Rice an' Peas to please his exacting palate. This recipe has come the closest and we all love it! It tastes authentic and is really simple to make.

Cookbooks, DVDs & More