Rice + Peas I used to live in Balham, South London, and my flatmate’s mum would send round rice and peas and hot pepper gravy on a Sunday (a Jamaican Sunday lunch). This was the best thing we’d eat all week. Feeds 4-6
300g/10 1/2oz/1 3/4 cups long-grain rice
1 bunch spring onions (or just a regular onion), chopped
1 tin kidney beans
4 teaspoons allspice
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, chopped (or 4 teaspoons garlic paste from a jar)
1 chicken stock cube
1 x 200g block creamed coconut Wash the rice and cover with water to about 3cm above the top of the rice. Mix the onion into the rice and water. Open the tin of kidney beans and pour into the rice, brine and all. Add the allspice, soy sauce, garlic and stock cube. Chop the coconut block into pieces and add to the mixture.
Mix thoroughly and then cover the pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 20 minutes on a very low heat without taking off the lid.
Turn off the heat and allow to the pan stand for 10 minutes before serving with jerk chicken and hot pepper gravy (see the following recipe).
Jerk chicken with hot pepper gravy This is a recipe from Ladbroke Grove, West London. A guy I knew back inna day had a shop there selling hip-hop clothes and trainers that he and his partner imported from New York by the bag load (as many as they could get on the plane). This was in 1989 and good gear was hard to get. I used to hang with him sometimes and we’d eat jerk chicken for lunch. Those were the dayz. Feeds 4 8 chicken portions (thighs and drumsticks)
jerk seasoning (Encona or similar)
1 large pot yoghurt
juice of 1 lime
Hot pepper gravy 2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon jerk seasoning
1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 450ml/16fl oz/2 cups water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh root ginger Wash the chicken pieces and score each piece deeply with a sharp knife three or four times.
In a large bowl mix 1–4 teaspoons jerk seasoning (depending on how hot you want it!) with the yoghurt and lime juice, and then add all the chicken pieces, one by one, coating each piece with the mixture. Marinate for as long as possible (overnight is best).
Bake in the oven at 200°C/400ºF/Gas 6 for 60 minutes, or cook on a BBQ for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the hot pepper gravy. Mix all the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve the jerk chicken with rice and peas and hot pepper gravy.