As soon as I landed in Belize last week I started asking people, what do they eat here? What are the staple dishes, what dishes does everyone LOVE and what is the best way to make them? The number one thing I heard was 'rice and beans'. I started looking into how Belizeans make this dish their own, and learned that it is the herbs and the fact the rice is partly cooked in coconut milk. I couldn't wait to try it!

I was so intrigued by the flavours and after nearly a week of being in Placencia, finally gave it a go. Traditionally it is a side dish served with stewed chicken...and so that is next on my list. Watch this space!


The ratio with rice is always 2:1 so 2 parts water to 1 part rice. So you can scale this recipe up or down just keep to that ratio.


Belizean rice and beans recipe


Ingredients

1 red or green bell pepper, diced

1 white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

Handful of coriander (both stalks and leaves)

1 cup/185g rice

1 cup/250ml chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup/250ml coconut milk

1 can black or kidney beans, drained

1/2 tsp dried thyme or oregano


Directions

Heat some vegetable oil in a stock pot or casserole dish over medium and fry the pepper and onion until softened, then add the garlic for a further minute. Add the thyme/oregano and rice and stir for 30 seconds or so to toast the grains and coat everything.


Now add the beans, coconut milk and stock and some coriander stalks chopped small. Bring to a simmer, then turn to medium low and cover.


Leave for 35 minutes or so, checking the rice at around 25 minutes and seeing if it needs a splash more stock. If you brown rice, it will take a little longer so keep an eye out so it doesn't dry out.


Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves and season to taste. I drizzled a bit of Marie Sharps Hot Sauce on mine because she is a Belizean institution and I now eat her hot sauce with almost everything!


If you want to watch me make it, here is a YouTube video of the process with a bit of beautiful Belize thrown in!



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© Rosanna etc

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