The flavors in Caribbean food pack a real punch and always taste so fresh. Scotch bonnets are key to this recipe, but if you can’t find them, just use the hottest chili you can get your hands on. Scotch bonnet peppers are an excellent source of phytochemicals and vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), iron, vitamin B, carotenoids, niacin, riboflavin, dietary fiber, flavonoids and magnesium. They also contain capsaicin, which is not only a powerful pain killer, but is also said to reduce the build up of excess fat.

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Spicy Plantains With Rice and Peas [Vegan]

Ingredients

For the Rice and peas:

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
  • 2 large thyme sprigs
  • 2 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 14-ounce can of kidney beans, drained
  • 1 small handful of fresh parsley

For the Spicy plantains:

  • 2 large plantains, sliced in half and then half again (see picture)
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 scotch bonnet, chopped finely (seeds in if you want the extra heat)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
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Preparation

  1. Rinse the rice in plenty of cold water, then tip it into a large saucepan with all the remaining ingredients except the kidney beans. Season with salt, add 0.6 cup cold water, and bring to the boil. Turn it down to a medium heat, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Quickly add the beans to the rice (just tip the can on top), then cover with a lid. Leave off the heat for 10 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.
  3. While you’re waiting for the rice, make your spicy plantain. Heat up coconut oil in a skillet or frying pan. When it’s nice and hot (but not smoking) add the plantain and cook lightly on each side for about 4 minutes (8 minutes in total). When the plantain is golden brown on both sides, add the chopped scotch bonnet and minced garlic, and cook briefly for another two minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic.
  4. Fluff up your rice with a fork and serve up with your fried plantain. Garnish with more spring onion and the fresh parsley.

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