Curry goat with rice and peas

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Arguably the Caribbean's most iconic dish, this goat curry recipe is simple to cook and bursting with fiery, spiced and creamy coconut flavour. Served with rice and peas (kidney beans) on the side, it's the perfect way to sink your teeth into Caribbean cuisine.

First published in 2020

Curry goat is a classic Caribbean dish, adopted by many islands of the former British West Indies, Jamaica, St Lucia and Dominica, to name a few. Goat was introduced to the islands by the Spanish and Portuguese in the fifteenth century during colonial times and then became a staple meat on the islands. Curry, as a spice form, travelled to the Caribbean from south India with the indentured workers who immigrated to the West Indies in the early 1900s. These two ingredients united when Indian immigrants sought a substitute for lamb in their recipes. As beef was sacred and could not be consumed, goat became the next best thing and remained a staple of the area ever since. Here it is served with rice and peas and coleslaw – however, due to the larger Indian populations in Trinidad and Guyana, curry goat is also eaten alongside dhal puri roti (a split pea-stuffed flatbread) or parathas.




Curry goat

Rice and peas

To serve


Place the goat meat in a large bowl with the lemon juice, then pour in enough water to cover. Set aside while you prepare the base for the sauce
Heat a deep saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil. Stir in the curry powder, cumin and coriander, cooking for 1 minute, then add 100ml of water and mix to create a paste
Add the remaining 900ml of water along with the creamed coconut, garlic, bay leaves, onion, scotch bonnet, salt and sugar. Stir and continue cooking until the coconut dissolves into the liquid
Drain the goat meat and add to the pan, stirring and topping up with a little extra water if needed – the meat should be completely submerged. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and leave to cook for 2 hours until the meat is meltingly tender, stirring occasionally
Meanwhile, make the rice and peas. If you’re using soaked dried kidney beans, then boil them for 40-50 minutes until tender, ensuring the pan doesn’t boil dry. If you’re using tinned, you can skip this step
Wash the rice in cold water to remove excess starch, then drain and set aside
Place the creamed coconut, thyme, bay leaves, salt and sugar in a pan along with the kidney beans. Add 500ml waiter and bring to a boil
Once boiling, add the washed, drained rice and quickly fold through to ensure all the ingredients are well combined. Add a little more water until the rice is just fully submerged, then turn the heat down to a low simmer, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender
To serve, place a spoonful of the rice and the curry goat on each plate. Garnish with sliced red chilli and spring onion, then finish with lime wedges and coleslaw

Keshia Sakarah is a second-generation West Indian and owner of Caribe', a Caribbean restaurant based at POP Brixton in London.

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