Caribbean style coconut rice with pigeon peas

This is a basic rice and peas recipe and it’s one that I often make and switch up a lot. I love to add different beans to it or even green peas and carrots as well. I also add pumpkin and spinach or bhaji to it too. I like to also add different flavourings to it by adding pimento peppers and thyme. This recipe is a basic rice and peas but feel free to play around with the variations.

The method is really what makes this rice a little more unique and makes it very flavourful. It gets finished off in the oven as opposed to the stovetop. I can always tell wether rice has been cooked stove top or baked. It’s a little nuttier tasting, more evenly cooked and I always find it’s more flavourful too. I think that I am accustomed to it being baked because my mom always baked her rice. Greek rice always tastes the best when it’s baked, at least I think so. I had this style rice at Kariwak Village hotel in Tobago and I could tell right away that it was baked. It was so tasty and so creamy and buttery and had a hint of coconut. I absolutely loved it and tested many versions of this type of rice until I got it to taste as similar as I remember.

I have had all sorts of rice and peas or peas and rice whether it’s Trini style, Jamaican style or whatever style and by far I prefer this one. It’s simple and so flavourful and it works beautifully with white rice, brown rice and I have even used jasmine rice with it. I find the only difference is that some rice will turnout a little stickier than others as demonstrated by the rice in this shot (ends up more like a pilaf). Regardless of what you use, the flavour outcome is consistent.

It’s a little nuttier tasting, more evenly cooked and I always find that it’s more flavourful too

Another thing I have been doing is soaking my rice for 8-12 hours so basically overnight in water and yoghurt ( 1 cup = 1 tbsp of plain yoghurt). This soaking or fermenting of the rice is suppose to remove an acid called phytic acid which is in grains that can make them hard to digest. So soaking the rice helps with digesting and absorption of the nutrients from the grains. After soaking you just rinse them well and use the grain as you would otherwise. I got this info fro my friend Pamela from @carmlapilates. Definitely do your own research about this and do what’s best for you.

Hope you enjoy my version of coconut rice with pigeon peas and also hope you guys had a great weekend!! Do let me know what you thought of the recipe if your try it, I would love to hear about it and any other versions of this simple side dish.


  • 1 can of coconut milk or approx. 1 cup (can use powdered too)
  • 2 cups rice of your choice I usually use either white or brown (soaked if your soaking otherwise just rinsed thoroughly)
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cups of water (some people also use the liquid from the canned peas but that’s optional)
  • 1 can or approx. 1 cup of pigeon peas or beans of choice (must be pre-cooked if using dried peas or beans)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  2. Heat up oil and butter to medium high in a medium oven proof sauce pan

  3. Add onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until onion is soft

  4. Add in your rice and sauté for a minute and then add peas and sauté for another minute

  5. Now add in the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil and season generously with salt

  6. Once to a boil remove from heat, put the lid on the pot and place in the oven and bake for approx. 30 minutes or until rice is done

  7. Once done remove from the oven fluff and serve 

Coconut rice and pigeon and peas