Christmas is family time, but as in so many holidays food is at its core. Fruit cake and sorrel are a favourite for Jamaicans. Other simply delish items for the end of year feast are: ham, bake/roast/jerk chicken, stew/smoke pork, curry goat, potato salad and rice with gungo peas.
Gungo Peas and rice is a very easy to make side dish for many wonderful Jamaican entrees. Gungo beans (also known as "pigeon peas", "cow peas", and "Congo peas"). Gungo peas are a main staple crop in India, parts of Africa, and parts of Latin America. This hearty legume, in combination with cereals, such as barley or oats, can make up a nutritious base for a human diet. In jamaica however we use it in our popular "rice and peas" dish.
- 1 can of gungo peas (pigeon peas), substitute red beans in off-season
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 2 cups of long grain rice
- 3 green onions, chopped with some of the green tops reserved for garnish
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 Scotch bonnet pepper pricked with a fork (or substitute habenero)
- Small cube of salt pork (optional)
- Put the peas to boil. when the peas become tender, then stir in the coconut milk and the remaining ingredients. If you want to add salt pork you may do so.
- Then add the water until it is a half an inch over the top of the rice. Cook over medium heat stirring once or twice until rice is well cooked.
- Serve with chopped green onion tops and sliced lime for garnish