About this recipe:This recipe is based on a traditional Caribbean favourite. It's made with rajmah, which are called peas in Jamaica – hence the name of the dish. Red capsicum has been added for extra vegetable content and a small amount of lean, smoked bacon lifts the flavour.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 lean, smoked, thick-cut back bacon rashers, trimmed and diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red or green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Heat the oil in a large saucepan 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 chilli and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the rice, then pour in the boiling water and the coconut milk and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Add the drained beans and thyme, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the 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 sauce to sprinkle over.
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.