This recipe is based on a traditional Caribbean favourite that is often made with red kidney beans, which are called peas in Jamaica — hence the name of the dish. Red capsicum and bacon elevate the flavour.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 rindless short-cut bacon rashers, trimmed and diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large red capsicum, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red or green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or deep frying pan, add the bacon and cook over a gentle heat for 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until softened. Reduce the heat and stir in the capsicum, garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the rice, then pour in the boiling water and coconut milk and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Add the drained beans and thyme, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes to the pan and continue to cook gently for a further 10 minutes until the rice is just tender. (The mixture should still be a little sloppy.) Remove the sprigs of thyme and serve with Tabasco to sprinkle over the top, if you like.