Riverford Wicked Leeks
Jerk chickpeas & roasted peppers with callaloo (spinach & coconut sauce) recipe image

Print Jerk chickpeas & roasted peppers with callaloo (spinach & coconut sauce)

Jerk spice is a Jamaican style spice mix traditionally used to flavour meat, but it also works for vegetarians with pulses and beans. We’ve swapped the blow-your-socks-off Scotch bonnet chillies for some paprika. This makes the flavour more aromatic rather than too hot to handle, as you’ve also got chillies in the callaloo spinach and coconut sauce. Callaloo is a Caribbean dish which uses an amaranth leaf native to the area, but spinach or chard work well as an alternative.


  • 2 red peppers, deseeded & chopped into chunky pieces
  • Oil for roasting & frying
  • 150g brown basmati rice
  • 300g spinach, washed well, leaves stripped off their stalks
  • 1 large or 2 small onions, peeled & finely diced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 fresh chillies – use 1 or 2, depending on your taste for heat
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 bunch coriander, chopped (use stalks & leaves)
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C/Gas Mark 5. Put 2 pans of water on to boil; one for the spinach and one for the rice.
  2. Toss the peppers in a baking dish with enough oil to coat and season. Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse the rice in a sieve to remove excess starch.
  4. Transfer the rice to one pan of boiling water. Add a couple of pinches of salt and cook for approx. 20 minutes, until just tender.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the spinach leaves in the other pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, until wilted. Drain, run under cold water to refresh, then squeeze out excess moisture. Finely chop them.
  6. Wash out and dry the spinach pan. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Fry the onion on a low heat for 8 minutes, stirring now and then to stop it catching.
  7. Add the garlic and chilli(es). Stir for a further 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and season. Simmer while the peppers and rice continue to cook.
  8. Once the peppers have cooked for 20 minutes, remove and toss in the chickpeas, dried thyme and spices. Pop them back in the oven for 5-10 minutes, just until the peppers are tender and just starting to caramelise, and you can smell the spices.
  9. Stir the coriander and spinach into the coconut sauce. Season and add lemon juice to taste.
  10. Serve the rice topped with the chickpeas and peppers, then the spinach and coconut sauce.

Cooks notes

Use 1 or both chillies in this, depending on your preference for heat. You can leave the seeds in for more heat too if you like.
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