Skip to main content

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld


Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine.

This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of CulturEatz. Read more about her challenge. This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all!


When I started digging into Jamaican food, the boys reminded me of our 2012 Jamaican feast when we made jerk chicken; I have also made Jamaican Jerk Lamb Chops when I had a micro share of a lamb back in 2017. 

But we wanted to make something new-to-us and I was inspired by a package of red peas that I had just picked up at a local market. Come to find out that Jamaican red peas aren't red peas at all; they are red kidney beans! 

And there the kitchen stars were definitely not aligned for me this month as I made what I thought was a Jamaican spinach dish. Come to find out that Jamaican spinach isn't spinach either. I have no idea what 'water spinach' is, but I'll do some more reading soon.

In any case, I am sharing my version of a Jamaican stew pea with Sea Island red peas should have been red kidney beans. Oh, well...

Jamaican Stew Peas

Since this recipe starts with dried beans, you'll need to start this the day before you plan to serve.

  • 2 cups dried red peas (should have been red kidney beans!)
  • water for soaking
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 to 4 cups water plus more for soaking
  • 1 medium leek, chopped (approximately 3/4 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped (approximately 1/2 cup)
  • 2 to 3 stalks celery, chopped (approximately 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1 medium potato, chopped
  • 1 yam, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 whole dried peppers (traditional is Scotch Bonnet, I used some Pasillas)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Sort and wash peas. Place them in a large pot and cover with at least 2" of cold water. Soak overnight, if possible, but at least 6 hours. After soaking, drain and discard the soaking water and rinse beans.

Place soaked peas in a large pot with 6 cups of vegetable stock and 3 to 4 cups of water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until peas are tender, approximately 45 minutes.

Once the peas are tender, add in chopped leeks, garlic, thyme, carrots, celery, bell peppers, potatoes, and yam. Pour in the coconut milk and add in the whole dried peppers. Bring that to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all of the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 30 mintues.

While the stew cooks, make the dumplings.

Place flour and salt in a bowl. Pour in water and mix to form a stiff dough. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into the palm of hands to make long thin dumplings. Drop into simmering stew and cook until the dumplings float, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.

Discard peppers before serving. Ladle stew into individual bowls and serve hot.

That's a wrap for our Jamaican exploration. I can't wait to see what Evelyne has in store for the final month of the year Stay tuned...


  1. Well it might not be quite authentic but it certainly sounds wonderful Cam.

  2. This looks tasty! I originally had my eye on a very similar recipe!

  3. I love the colors and flavors of this. Sounds delicious!

  4. I've never heard of water spinach either. Spinach is rare here in Jamaica. Maybe someone meant callaloo.

  5. Doesn't matter what the ingredients are called - your stew looks so tasty. I love beans stewed with vegetables, so satisfying.

  6. What a fantastic combination of ingredients - whichever version of "peas" you used this sounds delicious and hearty!

  7. I am Jamaican this stew would be called veggie stew.Most Jamaican stew would have salted beef or pork and fresh meat like chicken foot and neck.

  8. I LOVE your recipe!! Just started following you, so now I wont’ miss a post ??


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

#comfortfood: Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco with Bean Ragout

As one of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day Ambassadors ( I'm the Monterey #FRD2014 rep! ) I will be sent a copy of his latest cookbook - to cook from and write about. I can't wait. I do have to laugh though, because its title is  Comfort Food . And, according to a good friend:  I only make uncomfortable food . Oh, well. I can learn! To celebrate launch day - today - I'm sharing one of the recipes. Here's Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco alla Milanese recipe from his new cookbook, Comfort Food. And here's my adaptation. I typically don't eat veal, so I went to our local butcher for some lamb shanks sliced into an osso buco-style cut; but they had just sold their last shanks. Darn. But then I noticed the "never to roam" on the veal package and decided to go for it. I added in shelling beans to make a ragout and served it over wild rice instead of risotto. Also, I used lots of different herbs in my gremolata instead of just pa