Gungo Rice and Peas
Image © Noel Cunningham

“Rice and peas is a classic Sunday dish for us in Jamaica. If we don’t have rice and peas on a Sunday the day just doesn’t feel the same. Gungo rice and peas is a favourite compared to the others, it is also a popular Christmas dish. And let me not forget to mention that it tastes even better the next day when it’s reheated.” – Chef Noel Cunningham, Cuisine by Noel


Gungo Rice and Peas
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Caribbean
Author: Noel Cunningham
  • 1 19-oz can gungo peas (pigeon peas)
  • or 1 1/2 cups dried pigeon peas soaked overnight and drained
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 stalks green onions chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 whole green scotch bonnet pepper don't burst
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
Using dried beans:
  1. Place gungo and garlic in a medium rice pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Add all ingredients except for rice and bring to a rolling boil.
  3. Add the rice and stir the pot. Adjust seasoning to taste. Don't burst the pepper! Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the water has completely evaporated and the rice is cooked. Serve hot and enjoy!
Using canned pigeon peas:
  1. Add canned peas to pot along with other ingredients and bring to a boil before adding rice.
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