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Rice and Peas

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The dish

Rice and peas is a favourite on the Sunday lunch table in Barbados. We use pigeon peas which are savory, not sweet, and packed with protein. Fresh, dried or tinned pigeon peas can be used.

This dish is often served with stew (beef, chicken or pork) or with fried fish.

Attending a local 'Bajan' Sunday Buffet Lunch is a wonderful opportunity to taste traditional favourites such as rice & peas. This dish can also be enjoyed at many local restaurants, food trucks and rum shops.


  • 2 cups pigeon peas (tinned or fresh)
  • 2 cups rice
  • 6 cups water
  • ¼ lb salt beef (diced)
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp marjoram
  • 1 tbsp chive
  • 1 large tomato (diced)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)

Add the peas, diced salt beef, diced onion and herbs to 4 cups of water and boil until the peas are tender but not mushy (about 20 minutes).

Add the rice, the remaining 2 cups of water and the diced tomato. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until the rice has absorbed the water.


  • If you don't have salt beef or wish a meatless verion, season to taste with salt.
  • If using dried pigeon peas, cover peas with cold water and soak overnight.

Barbados Cooking Classes

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