Caribbean rice and peas is flavored rice seasoned with habanero pepper, garlic and cooked in chicken stock. Flavored Caribbean rice and peas is an accompaniment for curries and grilled meats. ‘Peas’ are pigeon peas and black beans make a great substitute. Continue reading or jump to recipe
Chickpeas, black beans, pigeon peas are some of the common lentils & beans in the region. Cooked beans/lentils is usually served as a side dish with rice and/or cooked meats. A common preparation is rice and beans, which makes a filling meal as is or with some curry, stew, or some grilled food. Caribbean rice and peas with some jerk chicken was our dinner one of the nights and Mr. U loved this rice.
Caribbean Rice & Peas
Total Time: 45-50 minutes
Preparation: 20 minutes (time to soak rice)
Cooking Time: 20 – 30 minutes
- 2 cups Rice (I used basmati rice and measuring cup that comes with the rice cooker)
- 3 tbsp. Oil
- 4-6 large Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
- ½ – ⅔ cups chopped Onion
- 1 Habanero Pepper, seeded and cut into 8 pieces
- 1 ½ cups frozen Pigeon Peas (canned pigeon peas also work)
- 1 cup firmly packed chopped Spinach
- 4 cups Chicken Stock (I used 3 cups homemade and 1 cup water)
- 1 tsp Salt (adjust to taste and also depends on how salty the stock is)
- ½ cup chopped Cilantro
- Black Pepper and Hot Sauce (opt and I did not use)
- Wash rice and soak in water for 30 minutes.
- Chop the veggies.
- In a bowl take frozen pigeon peas, add some water and microwave for 2 minutes to thaw the peas. Skip this step if using canned peas.
- 20 minutes into soaking of rice, take a wide pan and heat oil.
- When oil is hot, add chopped garlic and habanero peppers and saute for few seconds.
- Then add onions and saute until soft.
- Next add pigeon peas, spinach and saute until spinach wilts.
- Drain rice and add to sautéed vegetables and peas.
- Saute for a minute or two until rice is lightly toasted.
- Now add stock or stock + water , salt and mix well.
- Throw in cilantro, mix, cover and cook on medium high flame until most of the water is absorbed, about 8-10 minutes.
- Reduce the flame to low and cook until rice is cooked.
- Turn off the flame and let the rice sit for few minutes or until ready to serve.
- Serve with some jerk chicken or a curry or a stew.
- For milder rice, pick out the habanero peppers from rice once it is done. The longer the peppers sit in rice, spicier the rice becomes. Usually food gets spicier longer the peppers are in it. Read more on my first encounter with this pepper 🙂
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