Caribbean rice and peas is flavored rice seasoned with habanero pepper, garlic and cooked in chicken stock. It is an accompaniment for curries and grilled meats. ‘Peas’ in this recipe are pigeon peas and black beans makes a great substitute.
Rice & Peas
Chickpeas, black beans, pigeon peas are some of the common lentils & beans in the Caribbean. 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.
Ingredients (recipe card for detailed list)
- Rice – Long grain rice or basmati rice. I use basmati.
- Peas – Pigeon peas, kidney beans and black beans work great in this recipe. I use frozen. pigeon peas. When using dry peas/beans, soak for at least 8 hours and cook until soft but firm before using in rice.
- Scotch Bonnet – use this pepper sparingly and one pepper goes a long way. A good substitute as I have done is habanero pepper.
- Stock – use homemade stock which I prefer or store bought stock of your choice. For vegan version use coconut milk and in fact it is quite popular in some parts of the regions for preparation of this rice.
- Spices – Garlic, black pepper and hot sauce are some of the spices along with onion.
Preparation (recipe card for detailed steps)
- Saute garlic, peppers, onions and then the cooked peas.
- Add soaked rice and and cook in stock or coconut milk.
- Garnish with herbs.
Serve rice with stews or with from grilled meats. What you see in the images is jerk chicken. Rice and peas is filling as is without any accompaniment.
More Flavored Rice Recipes
click for more flavored rice recipes
Detailed, Printable Recipe
Caribbean Rice & Peas
- Saucepan & wooden spoon
- Cutting board & knife
- One Microwave safe bowl
- A bowl to soak rice
- 2 cups Rice I used basmati rice and measuring cup that comes with the rice cooker
- 3 tablespoon 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 teaspoon 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.
- Rice – Any long grain or basmati rice works.
- Peas – Beans are also called peas in some regions of the Caribbeans. Hence kidney beans are common peas used in this rice. Black beans also works great. When using dry peas/beans, soaked for at least 8 hours or overnight, cook until soft but firm before adding to rice.
- Vegan – For vegan version, use veg stock or coconut milk.
- Spice Level – 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, longer the peppers in the food, spicier it gets. Read more on my encounter with these peppers when I first used the peppers for Thai eggplant stir fry 🙂
- Nutrition – Nutritional values are approximate.
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