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Jamaican-Style Beans and Rice

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Jamaican
Servings: 6
Author: Coco Morante


  • 1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 15 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 large garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 green onion smashed
  • 1 habanero pepper left whole
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Combine rice and water in a 2-quart saucepan. Let soak for one hour.
  • Add remaining ingredients to saucepan and stir until combined — the garlic cloves, green onion, and habanero will float at the top of the liquid.
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat, bring up to a boil, then turn down to low and let simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, until rice is fluffy and all of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and let stand for 15 minutes.
  • Discard the garlic cloves, green onion, and habanero pepper. For a traditional presentation, scoop the rice and beans into a cup measure or bowl, patting down with a spoon to create a firm mound. Flip over onto a plate, unmold and serve


Whenever I cook a rice dish, I let it stand off the heat for 10 or 15 minutes before serving. This allows the moisture and heat to redistribute throughout the dish, unsticking any stubborn rice from the bottom of the pot and fluffing it up a bit, too.
If you’d like a spicier dish, use a toothpick to poke holes in the habanero (or scotch bonnet if you can find one) before adding it to the pot. Left whole, the pepper will add aroma and a bit of spice to the dish, but not much in the way of discernible heat.