Coconut Rice and Beans

Coconut Rice and Beans

Nigeria meets the Caribbean with this classic rice and beans dish.

Rice and beans cooked well is happiness on a plate. The coconut flavour with melt in your mouth red kidney beans and the heat from the chillies is the perfect comfort food combination.

Here’s what you need

Serves 2

  • 80g easy cook long-grain rice per person
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 knob grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube (or bouillon powder)
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 tin  can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 birds eye chillies (or 1 small scotch bonnet
  • Teaspoon, olive oil
  • Half, white or brown onion, diced
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Squeeze of lime juice, optional

Heat the coconut milk and water in a pot over medium-high heat then add the rice. Cook for 10 minutes.

Add the grated ginger, salt, stock cube  and stir well. Add the kidney beans, chillies and bring to a simmer, turn the heat down low and cover.

The rice should cooked in about 15-20 minutes.

Once its cooked, remove from the heat and leave it covered for 5 minutes.  In a skillet, add a teaspoon of olive oil and fry the onions till golden brown. Top the onions on the rice with extra chopped chillies and a squeeze of lime juice.

To serve, fluff with a fork.

This can be eaten with grilled peri-peri drumsticks, curried lamb or sautéed prawns with garlic.

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Braised duck in plum sauce

Braising makes everything delicious and comforting. This dish is best enjoyed with family on a Sunday with good conversation and a few drinks won’t be a bad idea too. Such simple pleasures of life! Braised beef paired with a rich plum sauce is one of my favourite meals. I could happily eat the ribs on its own and enjoy it with a nice lemongrass and ginger cocktail. Sadly, I don’t drink wine, otherwise I would have opted for the latter.

Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2kg beef short ribs

  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into pieces

  • 1 large onion, peeled, thickly sliced

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1cm piece ginger, sliced

  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)

  • 3 sprigs fresh lemon thyme

  • 4 tablespoons, store bought plum sauce

  • 250ml red wine

  • 200ml chicken or beef stock

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the ribs, preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
  2. In a pan, brown the ribs on both sides.
  3. Add the carrots, ginger, onion and garlic.
  4. Now add the lemon thyme sprigs, plum sauce, rice vinegar, red wine, dried chilli flakes and stock. Mix well to combine. Bring the mixture to the boil, then transfer to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 2-2½ hours, or until the sauce has thickened and the meat is falling from the bones. Check seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  5. Serve with vegetables and rice or mash.