Another recipe that you can probably find a multitude of different recipes for, my version is a kind of riff of Jamaican rice ‘n’ peas. Like a lot of my modified recipes, this came around by me trying to make new meals for my kids to eat, trying to get them to eat something other than pasta when they were younger!
The authentic Jamaican version uses gungo peas, also called pigeon peas, I have never seen them so I use black beans, I have seen many recipes that use kidney beans also, I like black beans. I remember the first time I made it for my kids they would have only been around 3 and 6 years old and I had tried to get them to eat cannellini and borlotti beans before without luck. When I made this they liked the rice with the coconut flavour and I had to tell them that each bean was packed with protein and every bean they ate would make their muscles grow bigger, I think they must have been on one of their superhero role-playing kicks or something, anyway, it worked, they tasted the beans and they liked them enough to keep eating the beans to acquire a taste for them. Ever since this dish has become one of their favourites.
Note for the prep
It really is an easy dish to prepare, If you don’t cook your own beans from dried, just get a 400ml can of pre-cooked beans and drain them. After I empty the can of coconut milk into a saucepan to heat I fill that can with stock and add it to the pan, then I fill that can up with the rice, and then wash that amount of rice. This is the easiest way to do the measurements, a rule of thumb for rice is you want twice the liquid to the volume of rice, so this way is super simple, and always works for me. After I wash the rice several times I then let it sit in fresh cold water for around half an hour, then I drain it before adding the liquid.
If I have time and remember it I saute an onion and a garlic clove and add it to the rice mix before cooking, it is good with or without this though. A family favourite for us is to serve this rice with oven-roasted chicken thighs and legs. If I was making this for just adults I would also add a nice bit of chilli, a little scotch bonnet would be delish. For adults, I would serve it with some nice jerk chicken.
Ya mon, Irie.
Coconut rice and beans
- Large pyrex dish or other oven-proof dish big enough to hold all the ingredients
- 400 ml Coconut milk, 1 tin
- 400 g Cooked black beans, see note
- 400 ml Chicken or Veg stock
- 400 ml Long grain rice washed, see note
- 2 sprigs Fresh thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- Heat oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas 5
- In a pot heat up the coconut rice and stock, add salt, taste the coconut milk with the stock first as salt content varies depending on if you are using a stock cube or homemade stock, bring to a boil
- Add the washed rice, cooked black beans and sprigs of thyme to the ovenproof dish then add the hot stock/coconut milk and stir gently to mix add the 2 sprigs of thyme
- Cover the dish with kitchen foil and place in the centre rack of your oven and cook for approx 35-40 mins
- After 35-40 mins take out of the oven and with a fork fluff up the rice then cover with a clean dishcloth and let rest for 5 mins before serving