Jamaican curry is typically prepared with pre-made curry powder spice blends, which includes variations of turmeric, cumin, paprika, cardamom, garlic, and fenugreek. But they also use allspice which is what gives Jamaican curry its unique flavor and sets it apart from most other curries. Thyme is also used when making Jamaican Curry which makes an interesting distinction between other ‘Curries”.
The primary difference between Jamaican and Indian curry is that Jamaican curry is made with curry powder. Curry in India is not made with curry powders (that’s a UK invention) and is often sauce-based with either coconut milk or cream blended with tomatoes, fresh herbs, and toasted spices.
Jamaican (Inspired) Curried Chickpeas
- 2 cans Garbanzo Beans, Chickpeas
- 1 can Coconut milk
- ½ – 1T Jamaican curry powder
- 1 Potato Diced
- 1 Carrot Diced
- 1 medium Tomato chopped finely (Optional)
- 1 medium Onion Chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves Crushed
- ¼ inch” Freshly grated or chopped ginger
- 1t Allspice
- 1t Garlic powder
- 1t Onion powder
- 1/2t Smoked Paprika
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 3 Sprig of fresh thyme or 2t of dried thyme
- 1-2 Scotch Bonnet Whole (Optional) *More Scotch Bonnet will make it hotter also cutting it will make it even hotter – alternatives Jalapeno, Habanero
- 2-4T oil
- ½-1 Cup (118.29 ml) Water
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- In a pot on medium heat, add the oil, allspice, peppers (If using), and curry powder. Toast for a minute until the curry powder turns a red-ish brown color.
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and scallion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in the potato and chickpeas making sure they are fully coated in with the curry. Cook for about 5 minutes. If you are using a pot that isn’t non-stick, stir continuously to prevent burn. You may have to add a bit of water.
- Add tomato (if you are using), carrot, coconut milk, thyme and water. Cover and cook for 30 minutes until the liquid reduces the potato and carrot soften.
- Before turning off the heat, crush a few chickpeas and potatoes to thicken up the sauce.
Jamaican (Inspired) Steamed Cabbage
- 1 large Cabbage (about 6 cups shredded)
- 1 onion, julienned or sliced
- 3-4 sprigs thyme
- 2 scallions sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced
- 1t Black Pepper
- 1/4 scotch bonnet pepper, sliced thinly (no seeds)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 veg stock cube, crushed or bouillon (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large carrot, julienned
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 green bell pepper, julienned
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a large skillet, warm oil
- Add the onion and garlic, stir and then continue adding the thyme and Scotch Bonnet pepper. Cook on low for about 3 minutes.
- Turn the heat up to med/low and add the carrot and bell peppers, followed by the stock cube (crushed). Stir well and cook for two minutes.
- Add your cabbage to the pot and stir well. It will look like a lot, however it will wilt down. Place the lid on the pot and get it to steam.
- After a few minutes (try to stir it a couple times while it steams)
- Taste for salt and adjust to your own liking and you can turn off the stove if the texture is to your liking or cook longer.
Jamaican (Inspired) Coconut Rice
- 1 cup Long grain rice (Jasmine, Basmati or simply long grain)
- 1 ½ cups Fresh coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- Wash/Rinse your rice until the water is clear (remove all the starch) and set aside
- Into a pan with a fitted lid pour coconut milk, water and add the coconut oil; then bring to a boil on medium heat.
- Add the rice and a pinch of salt to your pot, stirring well
- Bring back to a boil; then cover, turn the heat to low and let the rice cook until all the liquid has evaporated about 12-15min.
- Turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 minutes then fluff and serve.