Peas ‘n Rice, Bahamas-style
When I think of peas and rice, what usually comes to mind is rice cooked with green peas. It was not until my recent visit to Nassau in The Bahamas that I came upon a different peas and rice dish, this one made with pigeon peas. Pigeon peas are actually a bean, but are called peas due to their small size and shape. Much like the pinto beans, pigeon peas are about 1/4 round in shape, beige in color with light brown speckles. They are fat-free and high in fiber.
This recipe is courtesy of Bahamian-born Natasha, our friendly server at the Water’s Cafe, one of the several seafood restaurants located in The Fish Fry in Nassau. For an even more healthy version of this popular Bahamian dish, I chose to use brown instead of white rice.
1/2 cup pigeon peas
1 cup brown rice
2 strips bacon, fried and crumbled
1/3 cup chopped onions
1/3 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp thyme
4-6 cups water
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
In a sauce pan, boil 2 cups water and add the pigeon peas to cook until tender. Add water as needed. Rinse and set aside.
In another sauce pan, bring another 2 cups of water to a boil and add all ingredients, except the brown rice
After about a minute, add the rice and simmer until full cooked. Add water as needed
Fluff the rice before serving