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jamaican rice and beans with mangoes

Food critic Susan Fairbank once wrote : ” rice and beans are sacred, they are our daily bread, our comfort food. Rice and beans are our soul food and a synergies dish that makes a deliciously healthy block of complete protein when combined together. ” She has beautifully encapsulate in these few lines, the essentiality of rice and beans for human sustenance. Rice is staple for more than half of the world’s population and beans are scattered throughout the world in its many forms irrespective of culture and cuisine. They are considered as sacred by ancient Egyptian who deposited beans with their deads.

Like the Asian countries, rice and beans is a staple to many Latin American countries and the Caribbean, so Jamaica is no exception. However, they use the term peas to describe any form of beans, so theoretically this dish should be named as Jamaican rice and peas, but I have used the word beans for a wider acceptance and understanding.

Jamaica is a small island in the Caribbean sea lined with beautiful sandy beaches and some pre-historic caves, enjoys tropical climate throughout the year and their cuisine is widely influenced by the cuisines of Asian-Afrikan-L.American-Spanish, probably because of the wider influx of foreigners on their shores, who brought many ingredients and cooking techniques with them.

This recipe of rice and beans has been adopted from delicious magazine but I have suitably crafted it keeping in mind the essence of Jamaican cuisine. Kidney beans which are neutral are first sautéed in mango sauce flavoured with nutmeg powder and then combined with rice and slowly cooked in coconut milk or orange juice, bursting with fruity flavours and acquiring a mild and mellow taste. After all spice, nutmeg is one of the most favoured spice and mangoes and coconuts are plenty in Jamaica, if you want a little spicer version of this, you can add bonnet peppers or any Chilean peppers.

jamaican mango rice beans


Rice (un cooked) : 1 cup
Red kidney beans (pre-boiled or canned) : 1 cup
Ripe Mango pulp (sweeten) : 1 cup
Ripe Mango cut into cubes : 1/2 cup
Orange juice : 1 cup / or Coconut milk : 1 cup
Nutmeg powder: 1 tsp
Grated ginger : 1 tsp
Stock / water : 1 cup
Thyme / mint : 1 teaspoon
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil : 1 tbsp


Wash the rice and soaked it in water for 30 minutes.

Heat some oil in a crock pot / stew pot and add the mango pulp. Saute for couple of minutes and then add the grated ginger. Let it fried for few seconds and add the nutmeg powder. Next add the red kidney beans and mix it well with the mango sauce. Cook for few minutes on low heat till the beans incorporates the flavour of mango.

Add the un cooked rice, seasoned it well with salt and pepper.

At this point you have two options, either twist the traditional recipe by adding orange juice,  which will lend a fruity flavour to the dish or you can go with coconut milk which is more in sync with the traditions, end result will be slightly sticky with sweet flavour.

Since I don’t had the coconut milk in my pantry, so I added the pulpy orange juice (tetra packs) along with vegetable stock.

Cover with a heavy lid, cook on low heat for about 15-20 minutes or till done.

Garnish it with cubed mangoes and serve warm with Jamaican jerk chicken or anything of your choice.

jamaican rice peas

Sharing this warm plate of mango flavoured Jamaican rice and beans with MLLA 34 guest hosted by desi soccer mom , started by Susan of the well seasoned cook  ;

Priya and Aipi’s bookmark Tuesday ;

Have a good day


  • Reply
    May 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Wow ! it seems you are making full use of mango season 🙂 Another new variation…I made some sandesh two weeks ago. Now after seeing your mango sandesh craving to try my hand….If it turns out well would like to post it along with your link. Ofcourse if you permit so.
    Ami near indiranagr thaki.

  • Reply
    May 3, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    yummy recipe… truly Caribbean:)

  • Reply
    Priya Yallapantula
    May 3, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    wow, what a wonderful saying and I so agree that “rice and beans are our most comfort food and are sacred”. Love the rice recipe, adding mango is such a great flavor enhancing idea.

  • Reply
    May 3, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Wonderful looking rice, truly inviting..

  • Reply
    May 3, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    This is a very fabulous recipe…the rice looks so colourful with wonderful bursts of flavours.

  • Reply
    Priya Mahadevan
    May 3, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    what a multitude of flavors dancing on this rice – Orange, mango, nutmeg – wow I am LOVING it and will certainly attempt to make 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    May 4, 2011 at 1:08 am

    What a great combo of ingredients- so fresh n summery!
    US Masala

  • Reply
    Vidhya Jayadeep
    May 4, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Loved this rice dish with so many wonderful flavors.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2011 at 4:48 am

    great looking rice.perfect for a lunch

  • Reply
    May 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    This looks fantastic. Lovely combination of ingredients mango, orange and coconut and I really want to try this out.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Such a light looking rice dish .. and with my fav mango I can imagine the taste already 🙂

  • Reply
    May 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I never thought of adding mango to rice & beans. Will have to add it to my recipe next time I make it


  • Reply
    Saffron mango kulfi - a royal summer treat and uncondtional mango mania !
    May 3, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    […] milk to make this delicious mango flan custard, reserve some cubed pieces to garnish over this Jamaican rice  and last but not least make this heavenly mangolicious sandesh, our all time favourite mango […]

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