“Culinary at Home with Hector | Rice and Peas Jamaican Style!” offers you the authentic recipe for this favorite Jamaican dish. Enjoy it every day of the week!

This dish is part of a popular Sunday dinner along with any kind of meat and vegetables. Otherwise, it’s an everyday lunch or dinner item. And, many people prefer rice and peas instead of white rice.

You can be sure restaurants, hotels, and various cook shops have it on their menu. This is an essential dish.

Some families may not even participate in this as their custom. The island is a rich diversity of various cultures. And, its people have different practices. Nonetheless, we are “Out of Many One People!”

So, is this a tradition in your home? We can’t wait to hear from you. Please let us know below what your custom is. In the meantime enjoy this recipe!

Red Beans in Water

Culinary Jamaican Style Rice and Peas | Ingredients

Here are the ingredients:

2 Cups Rice: I can only address regular white rice that’s usually cooked with one cup rice to one cup of water. Or brown rice one cup of rice to two cups of water.

1 Cup Peas or Beans: These can be red, kidney, or pinto beans. Also, green or dried gungu (pigeon) peas. It’s called rice and peas whether you use peas or beans–that’s the true Jamaican style!

1 Cup Coconut Milk: This is a key ingredient that gives it a special flavor. The best option is freshly grated or blended coconut. However, use whatever is convenient for you.

2 Cups Water: Use this to start cooking the peas before adding coconut milk. This water will be reduced while it cooks.

1 or 2 Scallion, Skellion, Green Onions: Some of us like to slightly crush and add it to the pot. But, others cut them in small pieces.

2- 3 Sprigs Thyme: Scallion and thyme go hand in hand. So, you want to add it as well.

1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper or Country Pepper: The flavor is amazing! Just drop it in whole to avoid extreme heat. Jamaicans know what the interpretation of country pepper is. But use what suits you.

Pimento (Allspice): Five will be enough. You may also use the ground spice if necessary.

Bay Leaf: One single leaf may be all you need.

Garlic: This is always a great herb to add to your dish.

Salt: That’s optional for many of us who choose to omit it because of the natural flavor of the coconut. Also, someone on a low sodium diet could omit it.

Okra (optional): This is a personal favorite. But, bear in mind that not everyone would like this added to their dish.

Culinary Guidelines | Step by Step

Now, let’s get started!

Dried Peas/Beans Method

  1. First, wash and soak the peas/bean overnight or for a few hours beforehand.
  2. And, allow the peas to cook until it’s halfway done.
  3. Prepare the coconut milk in the meantime if you’re grating or blending it from scratch. You could also do this step ahead of time.
  4. Then, add the coconut milk and all the seasonings.
  5. Wash the rice by running water over it in a strainer. Otherwise, wash it in a bowl and pour off the water.
  6. Next, add the rice and allow everything to come to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium low. Continue to cook until the water is dried down and the rice and peas are fully cooked.
  8. Turn off the flame and leave it covered for a few minutes if you wish.
  9. Take out pimento, pepper, scallion, bay leaf, and thyme.
  10. Finally, serve and enjoy!

Canned Peas/Beans Method

  1. First of all, prepare the coconut milk if you’re grating or blending it from scratch. You could also do this step ahead of time.
  2. Add water and coconut milk in a pot and boil. Use a little less water for this method unless you’re using brown rice.
  3. Next add all seasonings.
  4. Wash and add the rice and peas/beans and allow to boil.
  5. Then reduce the heat. Continue to cook until the water is dried down and the rice and peas are fully cooked.
  6. Turn off the flame and leave it covered for a few minutes if you wish.
  7. Take out pimento, pepper, scallion, bay leaf, and thyme.
  8. Finally, serve and enjoy!
A Pot of Rice and Peas with Okras

Jamaican Preferences | The Complete Meal

Here are some items that will compliment your rice and peas dish:


  • Fish: Use whatever dish you prefer. So, this could be escovitch, steamed, or cooked otherwise.
  • Chicken: Choose curried chicken, brown stew, baked, or fried.
  • Curried Goat: This is a favorite!
  • Other: Enjoy whatever your taste buds call for.


  • Salad: You could make a salad from your choice of vegetables.
  • Steamed Vegetables: This could be any combination such as cabbage and carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, or callaloo.
  • Okras: These could also be steamed alone or with other vegetables.


  • Soursop: This is a Sunday favorite for many families.
  • Carrot: Here’s an all-round juice for anytime of the day. And, it’s sometimes combined with other vegetables or fruits.
  • Beet: Not many people appreciate the benefit of beets, but it has a lot of nutrients.
  • Pumpkin: You could try this with another type of squash. It’s a rich and filling juice.
  • Fruit Punch or Extracted Juice: Here’s an opportunity to get creative with your blender or Nutribullet.
  • Other: There’s a wide assortment of fruit and vegetable juices to choose from. Additionally, there are other types of drinks such as peanut punch. You could even have tea as an option.

Conclusion | Culinary Rice Dish

Jamaican rice and peas is a big deal in many homes and wherever it’s sold or served locally and abroad. Natives and foreigners alike enjoy this delicious dish in its traditional form.

Naturally, you will find variations with some items being consistent. Coconut milk is one key ingredient. However, you’ll still enjoy this dish if you have to settle with a substitute.

Another key ingredient is the kind of peas or beans you use. Green or dry gungu peas really gives it a special flavor. It’s worth a try if you’ve never had it.

Pimentos are small but have a great impact. Likewise, a single bay leaf goes a long way. So, delight your taste buds. Furthermore, there is some goodness in these herbs. Your body will thank you!

And, as usual, we would like to hear from you. Please tell us what’s your favorite way to cook it. Also, what do you like to have with it?

Let us know if you have a similar dish you’d like to share with us if you’re from a different culture. We would also like to try that. Be sure to tell us which country you’re from.

Additionally, we welcome your experience of another culture as a foreigner. It’s a pleasure to learn from others.

I hope you found “Culinary at Home with Hector | Rice and Peas Jamaican Style!” beneficial in some way. Maybe your family cooked it or continue to do so. Please feel free to leave your questions and comments below.

Thank you for stopping by. We appreciate your participation.

Veron Lee Campbell | Entrepreneur | The Way 4WordEnterprises

Rice and Peas with Escovitch Fish

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