Flavors of the Season: Recipe for Jamaican Christmas Gungo Rice and Peas

Flavors of the Season: Recipe for Jamaican Christmas Gungo Rice and Peas

‘Tis the season for food laden tables and gatherings of family and good friends. In Jamaica it’s no different, even if we still get to frolic on a beach under the tropical sun during the holidays.

The focus of the Christmas day gathering is still food glorious food and a staple on every table across the island is a slightly different version of the well-loved red peas and rice. Gungo peas and rice is the Christmas season favorite to pair with everything from ham, to chicken, oxtail and curry goat!

Check out this recipe to prepare this Jamaican holiday Christmas dish.


  • 3 cup(s) chicken stock

  • 1 can(s) Gungo Peas

  • 1 stalk(s) escallion

  • 1 sprig(s) thyme

  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper

  • 2 clove(s) garlic, crushed

  • 4 whole pimento berries

  • 1 piece(s) ginger, crushed

  • 1 cup(s) Coconut Milk

  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt

  • 2 1/2 cup(s) Rice


Bring chicken stock to a boil and add the Gungo Peas.

Season with escallion, thyme, whole scotch bonnet pepper, crushed garlic, pimento berries and ginger.

Add the Coconut Milk, salt, and adjust seasonings to taste, if necessary.

Add the rice to the boiling liquid and stir, cover and allow to come to a boil, then lower the flame.

Allow to steam for 30-40 minutes or until rice grains are tender.


Cooking Tip:

To make chicken stock, bring 6 cups of water to boil, then add chopped escallion, thyme, ginger, onion, chicken neck and back and allow to boil for 1 hour and then strain.

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