Caribbean Food, Recipes Index
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Rice ‘n’ Peas Risotto w/ Crispy Okra

We sat in our regular cafe spot not far from Highbury and Islington Station; me mulling over an overly sweet Chai Latte, him a large, mug of Americano, our opposing tastes in beverages mirroring our personalities…

Him: “Have you made it yet?”

Me: “Made what? The Roti Wrap? The De-constructed Ackee and Saltfish? He had thrown so many weird and wonderful recipes ideas at me over the last few months I couldn’t keep track, and I wasn’t sure if he really wanted me to take him seriously.

Him: “The Rice and Peas Risotto (blank stare). I think if you make it with coconut milk, it’ll be a great fusion you know…?”

Me: “Oook…?” I tried to picture it in my head. I was stepping onto sacred ground here: NO ONE messes with rice and peas…a famous chef was publicly humiliated for his version of rice and peas which insulted the whole of the global black population. How would I pass such a test??? Why was my boyfriend setting me a challenge that could go disastrously wrong?

So after all of that I present to you Rice n Peas Risotto! A true fusion of two sacred recipes – let’s hope your taste buds like this union šŸ˜‰

Thank you M xx

Rice 'n' Peas Risotto w/ Crispy Okra

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Print


Rice and Peas

1 cup Italian Arborio Rice

1 cup Red Kidney Beans (soaked in water over night)

4 Cloves Garlic – with skin on

1 whole Scotch Bonnet

1 Vegetable Stock Jelly

1 Large Spring Onion 2 tsp Fresh Thyme

1/2 Onion finely chopped

1/2 tsp ginger/garlicĀ mince 2 Spring Onions, finely chopped

1/2 Cup Coconut Milk

3/4 cup Dry White Wine

1/3 cup Parmiggiano (hard cheese)

Crispy Okra

6 Whole Okra 2 tbsp Gram Flour

1 tbsp Cornflour Pinch Salt

1 tbsp Garam Masala powder

1/2 tsp Turmeric pinch Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Chilli powder Vegetable oil – frying


Rice and Peas

1. In a large pot put in the soaked red peas (drain off the water it was soaked in),Ā 3 whole garlic cloves (with skins on), scotch bonnet, large spring onion, half the fresh thyme, salt and 4 cups of water. Boil the peas for 30-40 mins or until the peas are tender but still whole. You can remove the garlic skin and mash it into the stock 15 minutesĀ into the cooking.

2. Separate the peas from the stock, using a sieve. Discard the spring onion stems and scotch bonnet. Keep the stock for later, you should have about a cup of rich red stock! Dissolve the vegetable stock jelly in the red stock.

3. In a frying pan, fry white and spring onions, garlic/ginger mince until soft (2-3 minutes). Add the drained peas to the onions and warm through for a couple of minutes before adding half the white wine. Allow the peas to simmer on a medium to high heat for 2 minutes.

4. Stir in the rice and add the red peas stock. Stir in, lower the heat to medium. Cover for 4 minutes.

5. Stir inĀ the coconut milk, remainder of the white wine, gradually. You should have a thick sauce. Taste the sauce and season to taste. Keep Stirring and adding the stock, if need be, add some hot water. Cover and allow the rice to swell always leaving a little liquid.

6. To finish stir in theĀ Parmiggiano.Ā 

Crispy Okra

1. Rinse the okra and dry with kitchen towel .Slice the Okra 4 into length ways.

2. In another bowl add the dry ingredients.

IMG_0979_2 3. Combine the okra and dry seasoning except the two flours. Allow the okra to marinate for 10 minutes before adding the flour to the mix.

4. Shake the excess powder off and transfer to a kitchen towel why you heat the oil.

5. Add the okra to the oil in two parts. Fry for 3-5 minutes, the okra should float to the top and be golden in colour. Transfer to kitchen towel.


  1. Okay.. I’m assuming the boyfriend is Italian.. To me this looks not too far from rice and peas.. Just looks like if I’ve added too much water and it’s slightly mushy.. I think the parmesan cheese may have been a step too far though.. Nice effort, but I think cheese coconut a great spices may be too cloying for my tastes..


  2. ahilia. says

    I’m American-Guyanese and I just made cookup using arborio rice… only because I ran out of regular white rice and happened to have arborio on hand (I had plans of attempting a risotto lol) and I figured the two dishes are similar enough! It’s definitely different though… this rice is verrry creamy and thick… still trying to decide whether i like it or not! I was searching the web for any one else that used this in a caribbean dish and came across your site – curious to see your other recipes now!


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