Jamaican Rice-and-Peas with Ann McIntosh!

In my home country of Jamaica, there are certain dishes you will find served in almost every home, no matter the social status of the residents, and Rice-and-Peas is definitely one. Traditionally it was cooked as part of Sunday dinner, or for festive occasions, and no one worth their salt would have anyone over for a meal that didn’t include it. Pigeon peas (called Gungo peas, in Jamaica) are harvested in December, so while ‘Red-peas Rice-and-Peas’ was served for the majority of the year, ‘Gungo-peas Rice-and-Peas’ was synonymous with Christmas and New Year.

This dish is a great accompaniment to any meat, fish, or stew and also vegetarian.

In The Nurse’s Pregnancy Miracle, Dr. David Warmington finds himself involved with Jamaican nurse Nychelle Cory. Early in their relationship, David butts heads with Nychelle’s father, who isn’t a man used to being crossed or contradicted! It amuses me to imagine David and Nychelle later on, summoned to Sunday dinner, dealing with polite conversation, pointed looks and probably a few glowers from Nychelle’s dad.

At least I know the Rice-and-Peas will be on point!

Photo: Google
Jamaican Rice-and-Peas

A few pointers, before you start:
·         The liquid from the peas and the water should add up to 4 cups. If you want to be certain they do, drain the peas and add the liquid to your water before combining with the coconut.
·         If you can’t get coconut cream in a block, you can substitute coconut milk in the can. Just remember the 4-cup rule, and adjust the water accordingly.
·         If you don’t like hot, spicy foods, omit the scotch bonnet/habanero pepper, as they sometimes burst in the cooking process, releasing their heat.
·         Traditionally, Jamaicans leave their scallion and sprigs of thyme whole (like a bouquet garnie, without tying them together) and remove them after the cooking process is over. You can, however, chop up the scallion and use dried thyme leaves.


Approximately 22oz water
½ block coconut cream
1 medium can either Red Kidney Beans or Pigeon Peas (14-16oz)
1 green scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
¼ tsp. finely chopped garlic
2 stalks scallion (green onion)

1 sprig fresh thyme or approximately 1 tsp. dry
4-5 allspice berries or ½ tsp. allspice powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups rice

Combine water and coconut in a heavy, medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the coconut dissolves. (Be careful, as the coconut will boil over if unattended!)
Add the can of peas, hot pepper (if applicable), and garlic, and bring back to a boil
Add scallion, thyme, allspice, salt and pepper
Add rice, stirring to incorporate all ingredients
Once it starts to boil again, lower heat, tightly cover the saucepan, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender.
Remove from heat. Find and remove hot pepper, scallion and thyme (if necessary), then fluff rice and serve.

Author Ann McIntosh was born in the tropics, lived in the frozen North for a number of years, and now resides in sunny central Florida with her husband. She’s a proud Mama to three grown children, loves tea, crafting, animals (except reptiles!), bacon, and the ocean. She believes in the power of romance to heal, inspire and provide hope in our complex world.

Ann McIntosh on the web:

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The Nurse's Pregnancy Miracle

She’s expecting a baby…

…but not to meet her Mr. Right!

After leaving her cheating ex, nurse Nychelle Cory decided to have the baby she’s always wanted through IVF. As she’s determined to raise her child alone, she must ignore her inconvenient attraction to gorgeous colleague Dr. David Warmington. Especially as David has his own reasons for not wanting a family. But could Nychelle’s long-awaited miracle help heal them both?

Buy on:

Amazon UK             Amazon Aust


  1. I have a friend who makes this recipe, along with other Caribbean meals pretty regularly, and it's always a special treat that I really enjoy. Thanks so much and kudos on the book! Hugs...RO

    1. When I was in Canada, my son's friends would call to ask him what I was cooking for dinner and if it were Jamaican food they'd rush over LOL! Thank you so much for the congrats and for stopping by, Ro!

  2. Never had this--at least not that specific recipe. The hubby is always experimenting in the kitchen, so we've had something close. I love that tid-bit about how this is a traditional dish.

    1. Hi Crystal, thank you for stopping by! I recently saw a rice, beans, coconut and mango recipe and thought it was sort of an up-cycled version of this. Honestly though, if I put mango into my rice-and-peas it would probably lead to divorce. We're very serious about our rice-and-peas LOL! In Jamaica I'd even get the side-eye for using tinned peas, since most people use dried, but then I have to remember to soak the beans overnight (which I never do) and I'm really bad about figuring exactly how much to soak, so I'm better off using tinned.

    2. Ha! I add baking soda when I forget to soak my peas overnight! So adding one teaspoon baking soda and leaving it soaked for an hour mostly works :)

  3. This looks delicious, and the book sounds good!

    1. Thank you, Christine! So glad you stopped by!

  4. This sounds yummy. As does the story:)

  5. Hi Ann! Congratulations on the book! Oh my gosh, your recipe sounds so good! I always enjoy rice and beans :)


    1. Thank you for the congratulations, Elsie! This recipe is one of my favorites too, but I have to fight for my right to use the red kidney beans instead of the pigeon peas, which are my husband's favorites.

  6. This recipe sounds delicious! I've had Hoppin' John before, but this sounds much spicier, which I love.

    1. Hi Suzanne, Thanks for stopping by! I had to look up Hoppin' John and it does sound similar, with pork instead of the coconut to add flavor. In some of the other Caribbean islands they cook their "rice-and-beans" with salt pork too. If you wanted to add some spice to your Hoppin' John, you could put in the green habanero or scotch bonnet pepper... It might change the flavor slightly though!

  7. The Jamaican rice and pea looks delicious!

  8. Peas are my sooooo much favorite and i loved to make different kind of dishes with them :)

    thank you for another incredible recipe i will definitely try this one though here we find only one kind of peas mostly the green one

  9. Sounds like a great vegetarian recipe, well worth a try.

  10. This looks delicious! I once went to a party years ago. The host was from Jamaica originally and she served up something like this. I am not sure I could handle a Scotch Bonnet (a bit of a wimp with heat)but I could go with the habanero. I am so happy to have this recipe, thank you! Thank you also for visiting my blog. I enjoyed stopping by, you have a great blog.

  11. That sounds really good. When I was in Belize, I think I had something similar.

  12. This looks absolutely delicious! I'm not a fan of peppers or beans so I'm wondering if they could be left out and perhaps add chicken throughout, which tastes incredible with coconut during summer. Definitely going to try this one out. Thanks so much for sharing! ♡♡♡

  13. i just love rice! i need to check out this recipe! :) thank you for sharing!


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