Caribbean coconut rice and peas

    40 min

    This recipe is based on a traditional Caribbean favourite. It's made with black-eyed beans or red kidney beans, which are called peas in Jamaica – hence the name of the dish. Red pepper has been added for extra vegetable content and a small amount of lean, smoked bacon lifts the flavour.

    62 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 3 lean, smoked, thick-cut back bacon rashers, trimmed and diced
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 1 large red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 red or green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
    • 225g long-grain rice, rinsed
    • 450ml boiling water
    • 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
    • 400g can red kidney or black-eyed beans, drained
    • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 2 tomatoes, diced
    • TO SERVE Tabasco sauce

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:40min 

    1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or deep frying pan, add the bacon and cook over a gentle heat for 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until softened. Reduce the heat and stir in the pepper, garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute.
    2. Stir in the rice, then pour in the boiling water and the coconut milk and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Add the drained beans and thyme, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
    3. Add the tomatoes to the pan and continue to cook gently for a further 10 minutes until the rice is just tender. (The mixture should still be a little sloppy.) Remove the sprigs of thyme and serve with Tabasco sauce to sprinkle over.


    Instead of using bacon, just cook the onion in the oil, then add some cooked meat, such as shredded chicken or pork, to the finished dish before serving. * For a vegetarian meal, simply leave out the bacon.

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    Reviews in English (9)


    Very nice, I made this tonight and it was lovely. At first I was a little bit worried the coconut would be too much, but it turned out really rather subtle. I would highly recommend this for busy and/or lazy people: it's super easy, involves no more than some chopping and stirring. Also a big bonus for those of us with no dishwasher: there's only one pan involved. And even the man liked it. He is like a big baby when it comes to food, so parents of fussy kids: be sure to give this one a go, it might just work.  -  10 Feb 2009


    I made the vegetarian version - it was very straightforward to prepare, and if you use tinned beans then it is indeed a one-pot meal! It's also very filling - more so since I only had rich and creamy coconut milk available, will use reduced fat next time. I would also like to replace the kidney beans with black beans, they have a mild, creamy flavour that I think would go extremely well with the coconut. It's a thumbs-up from me!  -  10 Jul 2012


    Have to agree with appeltaart - easy, one pan, subtle coconut. I measured out the coconut milk + water so I wouldn't have to strain the rice (and I don't like soupy rice unless its in soup). I omitted bacon because a guest doesn't eat pork. If I were to make it again, I would definately use bacon as I thought the dish was missing something. The rest of the guests gave it two thumbs up.  -  29 Jun 2009