This recipe is based on a traditional Caribbean favourite that is often made with red kidney beans, which are called peas in Jamaica ‘ hence the name of the dish. Red pepper has been added for extra vegetable content and a small amount of lean bacon lifts the flavour.
Heat the oil in a large pot or deep frying pan, add the bacon and cook over a gentle heat for 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until softened. Reduce the heat and stir in the pepper, garlic and chili pepper and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the rice, then pour in the boiling water and coconut milk and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Add the drained beans and thyme, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes to the pan and continue to cook gently for a further 10 minutes until the rice is just tender. (The mixture should still be a little sloppy.) Remove the sprigs of thyme and serve with Tabasco to sprinkle over the top, if you like.
Variations: Instead of using bacon, just cook the onion in the oil, then add some cooked meat, such as shredded chicken or pork, to the finished dish before serving. For a vegetarian meal, simply leave out the bacon.
25 g protein, 10.5 g fat of which 3 g saturates, 75 g carbohydrate, 7 g fibre, 372 Calories