Jamaican Rice and Peas


2/3 cup dried kidney beans
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 fresh hot red or green chili, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
salt and pepper
1-1/4 cups long-grained white rice
a 14 ounce can of coconut milk
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut

Cooking Instructions

Rinse the kidney beans and place in a medium sized pot. Cover with water and let soak overnight.

Drain the soaked beans, rinse, and drain again. Put the beans back into the pot, add enough water to cover them by 1 inch, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour. During the final 10 minutes of cooking, add 1 teaspoon of salt and continue cooking. When the beans are tender, drain and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed pan with a fitted lid. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the red bell pepper, garlic, and chili and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the thyme and cook for another 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add the drained kidney beans and rice, and stir to combine the ingredients together.

Pour the coconut milk and water over the rice mixture. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked (check after about 10 minutes and, if it seems too dry, just add a bit more water and continue to simmer. You want to keep enough liquid in the pan so that the rice near the bottom doesn't burn.)

While the rice is cooking, toast the grated coconut in a small, dry pan over medium heat until it is lightly browned and fragrant. When the rice is done, top it with a sprinkling of toasted coconut and serve.

Makes 4 servings

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recipe courtesy of elliemay.com