Rice & Peas, a dish brought to the Western Caribbean by enslaved West Africans from Ghana and the Ivory Coast, is a mainstay in The Bahamas, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and many other English-speaking Caribbean islands. It is also delicious—especially served with some of our Shrimp Without Grits.
Really simple to make, it starts, as many Caribbean dishes do, with a sofrito made from red and green bell peppers, onion and celery. To cut down on time, we used canned dark red kidney beans, but they worked just fine!
If you’re looking for comfort food, we can’t think of anything more comforting than Rice & Peas, a traditional dish of the Western Caribbean.
1 small red bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 C)
1 small green bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 C)
1 stalk celery, diced (about 1/4 C)
1 small yellow or white onion, diced (about 1/2 C)
6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 TSBP)
2" piece ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 TBSP)
1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chili, cut in half, stemmed and seeded
3 sprigs fresh thyme
15.5 oz can dark red kidney beans (unsalted), rinsed and drained
1 (14 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
3 C chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp kosher salt
1 bay leaf
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 C jasmine or other long grained rice (uncooked)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large Dutch oven with lid, heat oil over medium heat.
When the oil shimmers, add onions, green and red bell pepper, celery and salt.
Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes more minutes, until garlic releases its fragrance.
Stir in rice until well combined with pepper mixture. Next, stir in beans, then coconut milk, bay leaf, thyme sprigs, chili, 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
Remove bay leaves , thyme stalks and chili pieces, salt and pepper to taste.