Sham's Seriously Simple and Amazing Vegan West Indian Cookup
2 to 2-1/2 cups rice, brown or white
4 (3.5-ounce) packets sazon seasoning (I use the Con Azafran variety)
2 (15-ounce) cans coconut milk
3-2/3 cups water
1 to 2 (15-ounce) cans pigeon peas, rinsed and drained (if you can't find pigeon peas, substitute with more black-eyed peas)
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained (optional)
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 to 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 to 2 cloves freshly chopped garlic
2 tablespoons canola oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1. Begin by taking a medium-large sized pot. Place on high heat and pour the 2 tablespoons of canola oil to coat the bottom.
2. Once oil is hot, place the rice into pot. This is a major step in the process and leads to a successful or unsuccessful result. You must pay close attention to the cooking rice as it can easily burn. The rice will be heated to the point where the ends of the grains will actually start to split. Once the grains are splitting, then you know you are on the right step.
3. Next, lower the heat to medium or medium-low and add the sazon seasoning. Make sure to coat the rice as well as it can be. Once rice is satisfactorily coated, add in the two cans of coconut milk. Stir to make sure no rice sticks to bottom of pot. Add 3-2/3 cups of water (The best way would be to simply fill one of the empty cans of coconut milk with water twice, this equaling to the amount you need). Allow this mixture to simmer on medium heat, so as to allow the rice to cook.
4. While the mixture is cooking, add in the rest of the ingredients (pigeon peas, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, mixed vegetables, garlic, and oil).
5. After adding everything else, salt and pepper to taste. Cover the mixture and cook for 45 to 60 minutes. This cooking time does depend on which type of rice you use (brown vs. white) as brown will take longer to cook. Once the rice is soft and the vegetables and beans are tender, it is time to enjoy!
*Side Note-Alright kids, here is a little geography lesson! As stated before, this dish is west indian and is specifically from a country in South America called Guyana (which is incidentally where my family is from). Also, the final color of the finished product may vary from a shade of brown to a shade of orange. If you do happen to gain that beautiful orange color, do not be alarmed- you have done nothing wrong so don't panic! This dish was my favorite thing to eat while growing up and now is even healthier due to it's vegan make-over. It still is one of the best tasting and most nutritious recipes you will ever eat, guaranteed!
Source of recipe: This is the second recipe of mine posted on VegWeb (the first being "Sham's Seriously Simple and Amazing Alfredo", which was posted by my good friend, Raquel). If you liked that one, then you MUST try this amazing creation. It is an old family recipe but I have taken it and converted it into a vegan dish. And to be honest, there is no difference in taste in regards to it being changed to a vegan dish.