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Caribbean rice and peas in a bowl and jerk chicken and some spices in the background.

Caribbean Rice & Peas

Caribbean rice and peas is flavored rice seasoned with habanero pepper, garlic and cooked in chicken stock.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Caribbean Cuisine
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 808kcal
Author Usha Rao


  • 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.


Calories: 808kcal | Carbohydrates: 133g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 1254mg | Potassium: 924mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1162IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 3mg