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Rice and peas


If you’re planning on making a Caribbean-inspired dish, there’s no better side than rice and peas (or rice and beans, depending on what ingredients you use)! This simultaneously creamy and spicy dish is the perfect accompaniment to jerk chicken, jerk cauliflower steaks, or a Caribbean style curry. Gungo peas are traditional, but if you’re not able to get ahold of them, kidney beans work just as well. 

  • 400g dry or canned gungo peas (or kidney beans)
  • 1 finely diced medium white onion 
  • 4 sprigs or 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1 (or 2 if you like it really hot!) whole dried scotch bonnet or habanero pepper 
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 400ml coconut milk or 60g of creamed coconut
  • 600g of rice (long grain or basmati)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Water
  • If using dried beans or peas, be sure to wash and soak them overnight before cooking. Either tip the peas along with the water they have soaked in into a large pot, or tip the can of peas with their juices into the pot. Saute the onions and garlic in a separate pan until they soften slightly.
  • Add the salt, pepper, onions, garlic, thyme, stock and coconut milk to the pan with the peas and simmer until soft - adding more water if needed. If the peas are still very hard, this could take up to an hour but if you used some from a tin it could be just 10 minutes or so.
  • Wash the rice thoroughly and then add to the pot of other ingredients, give it a good stir and make sure the rice is covered with liquid. Add more water if needed.
  • Place the chilli pepper on top of the rice, cover with a lid and then cook on a low heat for around 30 minutes. Avoid stirring while it cooks as this could break up the peas and make the rice mushy.
  • Once the rice has absorbed all the liquid, take off the heat, remove the chilli pepper and any twiggy bits of thyme if present, then carefully stir from the bottom of the pan, ready to serve.


  • This is a vegan recipe, but if you’re a meat eater you can swap the vegetable stock for chicken stock for an extra bit of flavour.
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