Jamaican Rice and Peas

by Erica Dinho on February 22, 2010

Jamaica is a beautiful island located in the Greater Antilles and was the home of Bob Marley, one of my favorite musicians.

Some ingredients used in Jamaican cuisine are similar to the ingredients used in Colombian cuisine. Some examples of this are: plantains, yuca, coconut milk, beans, avocado, tropical fruits and anatto.

As you may know by now, my friend Joan from Foodalogue is having a virtual culinary tour and this week she is going to Jamaica. So, I will be joining her with a traditional Jamaican side dish, rice and peas.

Soon you may be asking, “where are the peas in this recipe?”. Well, in Jamaica, beans are called peas. This recipe is flavourful and delicious and is especially good with fried plantains on the side.



(6 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 habanero pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 11/2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot. Add the scallions and cook about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and habanero and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the rice and stir until well combined.
  2. Add the beans, salt, pepper, water, coconut milk, butter and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and let it simmer over low heat for about 35 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Fluff with a fork and serve warm.
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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sugar plum February 22, 2010 at 10:26 AM

I love the beautiful way u painted a pretty pic for Jamaica…and ur delightful recipe and pics too….
Have a wondeful day ahead…..


2 Kim February 22, 2010 at 10:27 AM

I love how you use a mold to shape your rice! It looks really pretty Erica!


3 5 Star Foodie February 22, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Mmm… the rice and beans sound just perfect especially with the fried plantains! I haven’t made my dish yet. I hope to make it tonight.


4 Joan Nova February 22, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Even though I knew red beans were used when a Jamaican recipe calls for peas, I went the literal route and used green peas. Glad you authenticated the dish. Thanks for keeping me company along the way.


5 Maria February 22, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Great addition to Joan’s event Erica! Lovely dish with great flavors.


6 Erica February 22, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Thank you everyone for the comments!


7 Juliana February 22, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Erica, this rice dish sure looks delicious…almost can taste the coconut milk in it…by the way, love the plantains as well. We loved Jamaica…it brings lots of great memories :-)


8 Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen February 22, 2010 at 4:20 PM

I loved the food in Jamaica when we were there! This looks delicious!


9 Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes February 22, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Oh I love rice dishes! This looks beautiful and delicious. I am not sure if I’ve ever tried any Jamaican food. Looks great!


10 rebecca subbiah February 22, 2010 at 5:28 PM

wow this rocks I love this and great presentation


11 Simply Life February 22, 2010 at 5:39 PM

yum! another mix of some of my favorite ingredients!


12 Erica February 22, 2010 at 5:43 PM

Thank you all for visiting my blog!


13 Joy February 22, 2010 at 5:46 PM

What a beautiful plateful! Rice and beans are such a wonder and I love seeing the ways they are put together. But it is those mouthwatering fried plantains that really make the plate!


14 Bo February 22, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Beautiful presentation! Almost too pretty to eat!


15 Gloria February 22, 2010 at 7:35 PM

Erica this look fantastic, gloria


16 Faith February 22, 2010 at 8:32 PM

I would love to visit Jamaica! This dish looks really delicious — I love the coconut milk in it!


17 The Trinigourmet February 22, 2010 at 10:16 PM

As someone with a Jamaican mother I must say it was wonderful to see not only an ‘authentic’ recipe but also down home presentation :) Now I’m hungry! Kudos :)


18 Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog February 22, 2010 at 10:23 PM

Adorable recipe more the swing of the Jamaican rhythm with coconut milk :)

Have a great week,



19 Erica February 22, 2010 at 10:33 PM

Thank you guys for the wonderful comments!


20 ap269 February 23, 2010 at 3:55 AM

The combination of the rice with the plantains sounds delicious! I wasn’t too happy with my Jamaican recipe, but yours looks really good!


21 grace February 23, 2010 at 5:41 AM

ha–i wondered where those brown, kidney-shaped peas were grown. :) great recipe and lovely presentation!


22 Rachana Kothari February 23, 2010 at 7:35 AM

Wow!!! this is such a great recipe and you’ve presented it so beautifully:)


23 Oysterculture February 23, 2010 at 9:07 AM

A great adaptation on that wonderful combo beans and rice. I really like the addition of coconut milk.


24 Lyndsey February 23, 2010 at 9:55 AM

I wanted another good beans and rice recipe. I love using coconut milk in my rice. This one sounds so good! Thanks!


25 Erica February 23, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Thank you:)


26 Joanne February 23, 2010 at 1:02 PM

To be honest, I’m pretty sure everything tastes good with fried plantains on the side. God I love those things.

This dish looks amazing! Apparently I really like Jamaican food.


27 Kitchen Butterfly February 23, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Those plantains………..look heavenly!!!!!


28 Chris February 24, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Nice easy side dish and I like the way you presented it in a timbale.


29 Jeanette December 30, 2010 at 8:47 PM

I love the flavors of Jamaican food, and this looks really tasty. I might try it with brown rice.


30 Connie September 5, 2011 at 3:21 AM

A truly hearty Jamaican meal. Healthy and nutritious. Wonderfully represented here.


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