Jamaican Coat of Arms (Hot Jamaican Rice)

Jamaican Coat of Arms (Hot Jamaican Rice)

jamaican coat of arms

I thought this dish would turn out to be very hot.  I used two habaneros, pierced a few times each with a sharp knife and thought they would produce a heat level on the cusp of “unbearable”.  I don’t know if my taste buds are just totally fried off, but it didn’t have the spicy heat I expected.  I could taste the wonderful habanero flavor in the rice, but not the fire.  I ended up mincing the habaneros and mixing them into the rice once it had finished cooking and that gave me the kick I wanted (although I didn’t find it to be unbearable).  I was thinking that I had unknowingly picked up some of those Texas Aggie habaneros that are bred for flavor but have a greatly reduced heat level(and don’t get me started on that atrocity!)…but then my hubby ate a spoonful of the Hot Jamaican Rice thinking that the orange bits were carrots.  He screamed at me for 20 minutes about not warning him that he was about to eat the hottest bleepin’ thing he had ever had in his entire bleepin’ life. Opps!  So, apparently, my taste buds ARE fried.  Anyway, I really enjoyed this dish, it has an amazing flavor.  But be warned….if you don’t remove the chiles before eating, it just may be the hottest thing you ever ate.

Jamaican Coat of Arms (Hot Jamaican Rice)

1 cup dried small red beans (or black-eyed peas)
1 can (15 oz.)unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups long-grain rice
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 whole Scotch bonnet chile, or a 1-inch long whole habanero or any other very hot whole chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pour beans into a colander; pick over them and discard any pebbles, debris or malformed beans. Rinse beans thoroughly with cold running water. Place beans in a large pot and soak them overnight in enough water to cover.

Drain beans, return them to the pot, and add 4 cups of water. Bring the beans to a boil, covered, over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer the beans until they are not quite tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, rice, diced onions, garlic, chile pepper, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer the rice and beans, covered, until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the chile pepper and serve at once.

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