Anguilla News

Ital Black-eyed Peas and Rice

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Rice and peas or peas and rice are a Caribbean staple. This dish can be made using any type of green or dried peas or beans with cooking time varying depending on the type of peas or beans used. For example, dried pigeon peas may need to be soaked overnight or cooked for hours until tender. The dried black-eyed peas used in this recipe require much shorter cooking time.

Ingredients

2 1bs. brown rice
1 large dried coconut*
1 medium red sweet pepper*
5 cloves garlic
thyme, rosemary, herbs and spices as desired
1/4 pkt. Soy chunks (optional)
1 fresh lime
1 lb. Black-eyed peas
1 medium onion
5 stalks chives (scallion or shallot)*
2 stalks celery
3 grains pimento (allspice)
2 large avocados

* These ingredients available at Organic Food & Plants in The Valley.

Method

Inspect and wash peas and place in a large pot with four cups of water, one sprig thyme or rosemary and three grains of pimento. Bring to boil. While peas are cooking, shell and grate coconut add two to three cups of water. Squeeze through fine sieve or muslin to produce coconut milk, half of which is then added to the peas with chopped celery. Again bring to boiling point, then reduce flame and cook until peas are almost tender. Do not over cook, as brown rice generally requires longer cooking time than white rice and peas will disintegrate if cooked too long. Cook peas for no more than half an hour, (test for tenderness by squeezing between thumb and forefinger), add remaining coconut milk then add rice to boiling solution and lower flame.

Wash and peel onion and garlic, chop finely with sweet pepper and chives. Cook rice for 30 to 45 minutes based on brand and cooking instructions on package. Additional liquid may be required if liquid dries up before rice is properly cooked. Rice grains should be separate and not hard but firm. If soy chunks are to be added, they should first be soaked for a few minutes and added with the rice. For a vegetable cook-up, ital rice variation, chopped vegetables such as broccoli and carrots should be added when the rice is almost done so as not to overcook them.

Chopped seasonings are added to taste immediately as the pot is removed from the fire or the burner turned off. They will become tender from the heat of the rice but for best flavour, they should not be cooked. The red and or yellow pepper, green herbs and/or other vegetables should make this a very colourful dish. Garnish and serve with sliced avocado, sprinkled with the juice of a fresh lime.

Recipe contributed by Ijahnya Christian

 Revised: 2001/9/19



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