Trying a new dish can be as exciting as journeying into a new country, exploring the aromas and flavours of distant lands, right from the comfort of your kitchen. Even something as simple as rice can turn into an all-new experience. Today, we bring you a staple dish of the Jamaican household: spicy vegan rice cooked in coconut milk with leafy greens, peppers, and pumpkin.
To make this recipe accessible to everyone, we have simplified the ingredients required. For example, instead of using the leaves of eddoes, which may be hard to find, we have used cabbage. Both leaves have a similar consistency, and being leafy greens, also share many nutritional elements. Spinach is also an excellent alternative, but if you have access to the tropical leaves, then use those instead.
Similarly, we used butternut squash instead of the Calabaza squash commonly grown in the Tropics. The two squashes are very similar, but the former will be easier to find in a store for most people.
What makes this recipe exciting for us is not just the mix of veggies, tropical spices, and use of coconut, but also the cooking method. Similarly to the Italian al-dente rice cooking technique, you cook Jamaican rice together with all the other ingredients.
But instead of adding the stock a bit at a time, you let the rice simmer in all the juiciness of stir-fried veggies, spices, and coconut milk. The result is a bowl of colourful and sticky risotto that bursts with flavours.
So, are you ready for this culinary adventure? Put on your explorer apron and ready your spoons. Things are about to get spicy.