Jamaican Rice and Peas

One of my great interests is trying new cuisines. Jamaican Cuisine has intrigued me for some time. I have tasted what others have made but had never attempted it myself before now. This last weekend I decided to trying a few recipes for myself in my own kitchen.

The recipes I used were based upon ones I found at Jamaica Travel and Culture, which appears to be authentic, and the results were very satisfying.

One of the dishes I chose to make was Jamaican Rice and Peas. This is a dish that is very commonly served with Jamaican meals. I believe it may also be the basis of a dish that we in the South frequently enjoy called Red Beans and Rice.

Normally, this dish calls for Red Pigeon Peas, a popular choice of legume in Jamaica. However, I used Green Pigeon Peas because I preferred the coloring. NOTE: You can substitute Red Kidney Beans if you can’t find Pigeon Peas in your market.

Jamaican Rice and Peas

Here is the recipe I used:


3 c Rice (I used Basmati)
6 c Water
1 can (15 oz) Green pigeon peas (I used Goya brand)
1 can (13.5 oz) Coconut milk (I used Goya brand for this also)
5 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Jalapeno pepper, whole uncut
3 Green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces and crushed
2 t Thyme, dried
1 t Salt, kosher
1 t Black pepper, ground

Combine all ingredients in a pot and cook over medium heat for about 40 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed. Do not cut the Jalapeno Pepper as it is added for flavor and uncut will not add any heat. After cooking, this dish should be served hot with your favorite Jamaican food, such as Jerk Chicken.

To see the original recipe and a video of the dish being prepared click here.

If you enjoyed this recipe and are interested in Jamaican Cuisine keep checking back at Lukewarm Legumes as I will be posting more articles about authentic Jamaican dishes as well as other world cuisines.