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Peas and Rice Bahamian Style

Updated on January 12, 2015

What is Caribbean Peas and Rice

Peas and rice, is a stable in the Bahama Islands. My father is from Nassau, and he taught my mother to cook, just like a Bahamian. My Mom was the best cook in the world! I remember when I first heard my mother tell me, she was going to make pigeon peas and rice, I though it had pigeons in it.

Pigeon peas, are just a bean or pea type legume used in Caribbean, West Indian and Spanish cooking. Usually when you hear about this dish, it is just referred to as, peas and rice.

Jamaican peas and rice is made with kidney beans and coconut milk. We do not use coconut milk in our recipe.

In Spanish, the are called gandules! Peas and rich are a staple in the islands, just like potatoes and rice are here in the states.

I have tasted pigeon peas and rice the Spanish way and the Caribbean way and they are both simply delicious. Whenever I go home, I can always find a pot on the stove ready to eat. The recipe is pretty simple and the rewards are many.

Mama's Cooking

I learned how to make this by watching my parents prepare it for special holidays, when I was a little girl. I still don't think mine ever comes out as good as theirs, but I always get compliments on my peas and rice.

You may want to know what you eat with peas and rice. You can eat just about anything with them. They are an easy dish to prepare and you can impress you friends with Caribbean side dish!

Pigeon peas may not be sold in every market, but try looking for it in the the Spanish foods section of your store. You should be able to find the Goya brand of pigeon peas (gandules).


  • 3 pieces of cooked bacon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • green bell pepper
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • A little tomato paste
  • 1 can pigeon peas, drained
  • teaspoon fresh thyme
  • seasoning salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoon Worcester Sauce
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Two cups of rice

Step One

Start by frying the cutting into small pieces and frying it. You don't want big hunks of bank in the dish. The back rendering is all the oil you need for this dish.

Once the bacon is done, add the green pepper and cook until the green pepper gets soft. Next add the onions and sauté until they are translucent.

Lastly, add the chopped garlic. You will add he garlic last to make sure it does not burn. If garlic overcooks it becomes bitter and can ruin the dish.

Step Two

Next, add the chicken stock, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, Worcester Sauce, thyme, bay leaf and other dry spices.

Allow the mixture to simmer about ten minutes and then drain and add the peas. Let the mixture simmer for another ten minutes and then add the rice.

Cover the pot and don't stir, but allow to cook until almost done. Remove pot from burner. Let the rice to continue to cook until done. It is better to undercook a little then to over cook.

Delicious Peas and Rice
Delicious Peas and Rice

Step Three - Serving

Once the peas and rice are done and put into an attractive serving dish. Our family serves pigeon peas and rice every,

Thanksgiving but you can serve with fish, chicken, beef or anything your desire. If you want to make it a Caribbean meal, serve it with jerk or stewed chic,ken and a nice salad.

Pigeon peas may not be sold in every market, but try looking for it in the the Spanish foods section of your store. You should be able to find the Goya brand of pigeon peas (gandules)..


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    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 

      2 years ago from Austin, Texas

      This is a taste from my childhood that will never be erased. Although I am very upset with the local grocery stores here in Texas where I shop. I prefer the brown pigeon peas instead of the green The store used to carry them but now they don't. So I have had to substitute using crowder peas to make the dish. It's an OK alternative. But I really do miss my pigeon peas.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      3 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      Wow! This looks delicious and I am sure it is. I love rice recipes. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      My grandparents on both sides of my family are from the Bahamas. I truly miss the taste, smell and childhood memories that go along with this food. Thanks so much for your post.

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Nassau is very beautiful indeed! I try to get home every few years or so!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Just left the beautiful island of Nassau and loved the peas and rice that was served there. This is the best recipe I've found since my return and the picture is a duplicate of the one I took of the peas and rice that I ordered at "The Anchorage" down at the fish fry!! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Fantastic recipe. Just what I was looking for.

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thanks Me'Quisha, my Dad could really cook!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you for posting this recipe. This one is the most authentic one I have found. Thanks again.

    • ReggieD06 profile image


      7 years ago


      This dish sounds and looks delicious. I love trying new foods. I'm not as adventurous as some of my friends that will try just about anything, but I will say that if it looks and smells appetizing, I will give it a try.

      While in college, I tried curried veggies for the first time. Yummy, yummy, yummy! When I was growing up, my Grandmother would cook tomatoes and rice. It was a very simple dish, but it was delicious. Thinking about the dish (tomatoes and rice) brings back so many fond memories of the great times that I had with my Grandmother.

      I will end my comments before I go off topic. (I can feel my spirit pulling me to share more about the people in my life as I comment on your hub.) I do want you to know that I will definitely be trying this delicious looking cuisine.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Reggie D.

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thanks for your comment Peggy. Surprise you friends on day and make it.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I had never paid attention to these kind of peas. Your recipe sounds delicious! Will have to give this recipe a try. I know it will be good just judging from the ingredients. Thanks! Voting this up and useful.

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      vydyulashashi, it is delicious! Thanks for stopping by!

    • vydyulashashi profile image


      7 years ago from Hyderabad,India

      What a delicious recipe. Mouth watering!!!

      God Bless You!

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thanks Genna! The pix make me hungry too!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      As a peas and rice; beans and rice lover, thank you for this recipe! The photos only add to the quality of the hub -- and to my appetite.

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thanks katrinasui for taking time to commentting on one of my favorite dishes!

    • katrinasui profile image


      7 years ago

      Fantastic Hub! Photographs are really great.


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