Before you get going on buying ingredients and cooking we want to give some notes based on our experience cooking this dish:
- This makes a large pot but you can successfully halve this recipe. The leftovers are great though, so if you want to go big you will be eating well for the week.
- If you're using thinner long grain rice (basmati rice), use less stock - around 3 - 4 cups vs 5 - 6. Also, use less tomato paste and sauce - about 1/2 vs 2/3rd. Leave the tomato puree as is and slightly adjust the spices.
- When you add the rice in Step 4, leave it to steam without worry.
1.) In a blender, combine tomatoes, red poblano (or bell) peppers, chopped onions, and Scotch bonnets with 2 cups of stock, blend till smooth, about a minute or two. You should have roughly 6 cups of blended mix. Pour into a large pot/ pan and bring to the boil then turn down and let simmer, covered for 10 - 12 minutes
2.) In a large pan, heat oil and add the sliced onions. Season with a pinch of salt, stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the bay leaves, curry powder and dried thyme and some fresh black pepper for 3 - 4 minutes on medium heat.
3.) Add the tomato paste - stir for another 2 minutes. Add the reduced tomato-pepper-Scotch bonnet mixture, stir, and set on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes till reduced by half, with the lid on. This is the stew that will define the pot.
4.) Add 4 cups of the stock to the cooked tomato sauce and bring it to boil for 1 - 2 minutes.
5.) Add the rinsed rice, the butter, and stir.
* Major Key*
Cover with a double piece of foil or parchment paper and put a lid on the pan. This seals in the steam and doesn't let any flavor escape. Turn the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.
6.) Pour yourself a glass of whiskey, wine, or whatever and enjoy the smells coming from your kitchen.
7.) Stir the rice. Taste and adjust as required.
8.) Add your frozen carrots and peas and stir them in. cover with a lid and let stew for 5 minutes
8.) If you prepped your fresh ingredients, add in the sliced onions, fresh tomatoes and the 2nd teaspoon of butter and stir through.
9.) Enjoy! :)