Rice and peas is the ubiquitous dish of Jamaica, a national food like our fish and chips, yet its title is something of a misnomer, since the peas are actually dried red kidney beans. In Jamaica it may be eaten at any time of the day, including breakfast. For lunch or dinner, it accompanies everything from curried goat to salt fish.
Soak the beans in cold water overnight.
Next day, bring to the boil and boil hard for 10 minutes, then drain, rinse and cover with fresh water by
Put the oil in a large frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the garlic and chillies, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to coat for another minute.
Add to the beans with the coconut milk, thyme and salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly and bring to the boil. Put on a lid, turn down to the lowest heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes, when all the liquid should have been absorbed. If not, turn up the heat
Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with shredded spring onion.
© 1998 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.