Jamaican Rice and Peas (with Purple Hull Peas)
We have been all over the coconut rice lately. With mango season comes Mango Sticky Rice. Twice, so far, within the past few weeks. Rob’s latest batch was shared with a friend who proclaimed it the best ever. She had been pining over Mango Sticky Rice since her childhood and was always disappointed with resto versions. Not ours. It quenched her thirst. We split our case of mangos (20/$5!) and she subsequently made her own. Rob’s latest version substituted agave for the sugar and he used the last of our full-fat coconut milk.
While Mango Sticky Rice is good for dessert (or breakfast, in my mind), it probably would not do dinner justice. Try this coconut-infused Jamaican rice and pea dish instead.
Rice and peas is a classic side dish from Jamaica. “Peas” may be a bit misleading because it refers to a type of pigeon pea, which is similar to cowpeas that includes Southern favourites such as purple hull peas, lady cream peas, black eyed peas and crowder peas. If you are lucky enough to snag fresh peas, you will figure out that they in fact, do taste like peas. Kidney beans are often substituted in this dish, as well.
In any case, with whichever bean you choose, I do encourage you to try this dish. It is a very simple one-pot dish wherein everything cooks together and the nuances of the allspice, thyme, lime and ginger really bring out a fun flavour profile. Use full-fat coconut milk for a decadent creamy base, but the reduced fat was great too (which is what is pictured here).
Have you tried coconut rice? I am thinking that adding black beans to our Mango Sticky Rice might be a marvelous dinner, no? Who’s in to try it? :)
Jamaican Purple Hull Peas and Rice
Adapted from The Great Vegan Bean Book
1 tbsp coconut oil or oil of choice
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp grated ginger
1 cup cooked purple hull peas or pigeon peas, fresh or frozen
1.5 cups water
1 cup light coconut milk
3 (2 inch, or 5 cm) sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp Aleppo chile flakes
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp lime zest
1 cup brown rice (I used short grain)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large pot over medium heat, add oil. Once hot, add the onion and sprinkle with a touch of salt. Saute until translucent, around 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to saute, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 more minutes until fragrant (but not burnt).
2. Add the remainder of the ingredients. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover and lowered heat to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, until the rice is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.