Rice and Peas

This is the Jamaican equivalent of potatoes for the Irish, pasta for the Italians, noodles for the Chinese and naan for the Indians. Every Sunday I would wake to the aroma of garlic simmering in this broth and would spend the day wishing dinner was ready. My mum would make a huge saucepan of this rice for our family, enough to feed us all on Sunday and Monday – yum!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4


Knob butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
½ tsp allspice whole
2 sprigs thyme
1 cup boiling water
1 cup black beans (drained)
425g coconut cream
2 cups basmati rice
salt and freshly ground black pepper



Pop the knob of butter and olive oil in a medium saucepan. When the butter is bubbling add the garlic, spring onion, allspice and thyme. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until the onion is soft and fragrant.

Pour in the boiling water and add the beans and coconut cream, stir well and simmer for 5 minutes, until you have a wonderful fragrant broth.

Sprinkle in the basmati rice, stir well from the bottom of the pan, season with salt and plenty of black pepper.

Cover and cook (by absorption method) for 15 – 20 minutes of until a rice grain is crushed easily between your fingers.

Remove the sprig of thyme and serve with grilled meat or fish or a feisty curry.