Not peas actually, but beans. Here’s a quick nearly authentic version to go with any Jamaican dish. Serves four as a side.
- Half a large onion, chopped
- Dash of vegetable oil
Saute the onion in the oil until transparent. Add
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced
Saute a few minutes more. Add
- 225 gm long grain white rice
Stir until coated in oil. Add
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 900 ml vegetable stock
- Pinch of dried thyme or a teaspoon thyme leaves
Cover and simmer for ten minutes. Add
- 1 tin of either red kidney beans, black beans or black-eyed beans
- Optional: 50g coconut cream
Heat for another five minutes. If the water hasn’t been absorbed, remove the lid and heat until it dries out. Add
- Chopped coriander leaves or parsley
- Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper
Serve as a side dish for four people. You can make this a main course by stir frying 200g pork mince with the onion at the beginning, which would serve 2-3.
OK, true Indian cookery affionados will probably cringe at this, but if you want a tasty meal ready in under 20 minutes and fewer than 100 ingredients you are in the right place. I’m giving the quantities here for one person, you can scale up x2, x3 and x4 but as this is a microwave dish I’m not guaranteeing it will work for larger quantities because I haven’t tested it for more servings. You can adapt it for the Instant Pot then you can go larger.
Here goes, per person. You can chop and change the choice of vegetables. It can be one or two types, or a gathering of anything you have to hand.
- 70gm basmati rice
- 140ml vegetable stock
- 0.5tbs curry paste (any will do)
- 120gm vegetables – sliced mushroom, chopped beans, peas, chopped pepper, chopped carrot, cauliflower florets, diced potato, diced sweet potato or any combo that takes your fancy. You can use chopped onion but best to saute these first.
- 25g dried fruit such as sultanta, raisin, chopped dried apricot
Put the whole lot in a microwaveable container such as a pyrex bowl, and cover. Microwave on full power for 12 minutes. If you are scaling up, you may need to cook for slightly longer but only a minute or two. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff up and add:
- 25g shopped cashews or flaked almonds
- 0.5tbs chopped fresh corianer if you have it
Serve with a blob of yoghurt on top and chutney on the side. If you have a few long-life naan breads in the cupboard, heat one in the toaster. If you have grabbed a pack of uncooked popadums you could microwave a couple of those instead. Grab a bottle of lager and away you go.
A meany, beany paella really, and pretty good. Quick, easy and cheap. Ticks all the boxes there!
Quantities serve 4, easily scaled up or down. You will need a large stove-top-to-oven pan, I used my largest le Creuset casserole dish.
- 4 lean pork belly strips, halved
- olive oil
Sear in your pan until they are brown and crispy each side. Remove.
- 2 slices black pudding, cubed
- 4 thick slices bacon, cut into lardons
Fry in the same oil until coloured. Remove.
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, sliced
Fry in the same oil (add more if you need to) until soft.
Fry a bit more.
Fry until it breaks down. You could use tinned actually, if you have a use for the remainder of the tin.
- Tin of butter beans or canellini beans
- Sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
Stir in. Add back your nicely browned meaty things.
Add to the pan. Heat to bubbling then put in an oven at 200C/180C Fan. Leave 20 minutes and then have a peek. If the rice isn’t soft or there is too much liquid, leave another 5.
Serve with lemon to squeeze over if you like. Our home-made bacon is quite salty so it didn’t need more. You may need to adjust the seasoning.