Which type of pumpkin should I use for Jamaican recipes?
The pumpkins grown in the Caribbeans, Philippines and South America are called calabazas. They come in different shapes, sizes and colours. The most common one is the calabaza moscada, also known as Crookneck pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata).
This type of calabaza is very similar in consistency and favour to the more common butternut squash. They are both soft, starchy, and sweet, with a mild nutty flavour. So to make our Jamaican rice recipe more accessible, we picked the butternut squash.
What do I serve with this pumpkin rice?
Our pumpkin rice is pretty satisfying, as it packs good amounts of carbs, fibres, and vitamins. But if you want to make a full meal out of it, you should pair it with some proteins.
To keep the meal vegan, you could have it with legumes or tofu. Otherwise, jerk chicken is an obvious choice! Or how about some grilled fish?
Another great option is to serve this spicy rice with your favourite curry. We've got a few tasty ones for you:
Which type of rice should I use in Caribbean recipes?
You should use long-grained rice for this Caribbean recipe.
Jasmine and basmati are both excellent choices, but for a better nutritional profile, choose a brown rice variety.
Is Jamaican rice very spicy?
Yes, it is considerably spicy. We used scotch bonnets chillies, fiery hot chillies used in many Caribbean recipes. If you love spicy food, then this recipe will be perfect for you.
If you like hot food in moderation, then you should only use half a bonnet chilli, or remove its seeds before using it.
For a milder rice recipe, take a look at our courgette risotto.
For an even hotter Jamaican recipe instead, check out our banana prawn curry.
What can I use instead of cabbage in this recipe?
Traditional Caribbean greens include the leaves of the taro, eddoes, amaranth, or yautia root. But as these are not easy to find elsewhere, you may use spinach or pak choi.
Is this pumpkin rice healthy?
This hearty one-pot recipe is a nutritious meal that provides plenty of vegetables and filling fibres, along with satisfying fats from coconut milk. Therefore, we definitely recommend this Jamaican rice recipe if you're looking for a healthy dish to add to your diet.
Pumpkin is a low-calorie vegetable that packs vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Imagine that just a cup of squash covers over 140% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) for vitamin A . This nutrient is essential to support your immune system and eye health, and it's good for your skin too .
Cabbage and red peppers boost this rice recipe with colour and extra goodness. Like other leafy greens, cabbage is a precious source of vitamin K and folate, while peppers have plenty of vitamin C.
Swapping white rice with its wholegrain counterpart means you'll have fewer carbs and more fibres. Fibres keep you feel full for longer, so you'll be less likely to snack and consume extra calories during the day.
Each serving of this pumpkin rice is under 500 calories, provides two of your 5-a-day for fruit and vegs. It also covers 26% RDI for fibres, 19% RDI for carbs, and 17% RDI for proteins.
To turn to dish into a fully balanced meal, we recommend adding a serving of proteins. You can go for vegan options such as beans, peas, and tofu to keep the fat content in check. Just add them to seasoned rice while simmering, and you're good to go. But grilled meat and fish are also excellent options - for extra inspiration, check our FAQ above.