The Caribbean: land of blazing sun, white sands, exotic music and mouth-watering cuisine.
As one of the most glorious times of the year to visit the Caribbean, sun-seekers and water sports-enthusiasts alike will be flocking to the region over the coming weeks and months, to get a slice of island life.
But what about those of us who aren’t? Well, the good news is, you can sample a little bit of the Caribbean in your own home, with some of these winning recipes.
Rice and peas
One of the most well-known and traditional accompaniments to any Caribbean dish is rice and peas. Although the Jamaican version of the dish is often made using kidney beans, this recipe from the Tan Rosie blog uses pigeon peas, which make for a delightful alternative. With ingredients like garlic, fresh thyme and coconut milk, this is about as tasty as rice could be.
Jerk chicken chilli
Jerk chicken is a Caribbean classic, and chilli con carne is a real favourite here in the UK. That’s why this gluten-free concoction from Caribbean Pot goes down so well both here and overseas. Guaranteed to warm your cockles on those wintery UK nights, this dish incorporates carrots, onions and mushrooms for a hearty result.
Ackee and saltfish
If you’re after something traditional and aren’t adverse to dishes on the salty side, then ackee and saltfish, from the Cook like a Jamaican blog, is the ideal recipe to try. Considered the national dish of Jamaica, this West Indian classic is sure to have people coming back for seconds. You can pick up cans of ackee in most supermarkets – just head to the world foods section.
One of the best things about patties is that they can be enjoyed any place and time you like. Because they aren’t messy, they’re easy to transport, and you can even freeze them and heat them up at your leisure. The buttery pastry on this curried beef pattie from Serious Eats is sure to have friends and family begging you to make more!
Jamaican ginger cake
Jamaica is one of the three largest ginger producers in the world, which might explain why this cake is such a winning formula! This All Recipe’s Jamaican ginger cake will make for a great addition to your next tea party, or if you fancy adding a British twist, why serve it up with a thick custard?
If you’ve got a sweet tooth and you’re feeling fruity, why not give this recipe from That’s So Yummy a go? It’s a great way to use up bananas that are on the edge of over-ripening. The final dusting of cinnamon sugar makes it a great sweet treat to round off a meal.
So, if you aren’t jetting off to the islands any time soon, fear not: you can still get the taste of the Caribbean in your own home by trying out one of the recipes above. The only questions is, which one will you sample first?