1. Curry Chicken
A welcome reminder of the contributions of Indian culture to Jamaica, this dish featuring chicken and goat meat is perfect for everyday dinners. It offers many opportunities for special touches by home chefs to modify it as desired.
2. Sweet Potato Pudding
A favourite dessert after a Jamaican Sunday dinner, this dish is often referred to as “hell a top, hell a bottom and hallelujah in the middle.” Made with sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and brown sugar, flavoured with vanilla, nutmeg, and allspice, and packed with raisins or other dried fruits, this dish is a sure crowd-pleaser.
3. Cornmeal Porridge
Ready for some nostalgia? Memories of this creamy and delicious start to a day in Jamaica may flood in as it is often the first solid food fed to Jamaican babies. Sometimes, hard dough bread is dipped or broken up and added to the porridge for extra heft.
4. Stew Peas
In Jamaica, red kidney beans are called red peas. These peas (or beans) are cooked with coconut milk, hot peppers, and pimento, thyme, and scallion to make a hearty dish popular all over the island.
5. Boiled Flour Dumpling Recipe
Critics say these dumplings have no real nutritional value, but there is nothing more comforting than having dumplings as an accompaniment to the main dish of a meal.
6. Johnny Cake
While most dumplings are steamed or boiled, this favourite is fried. It is believed the dumplings originated among people who needed food to take with them on a long journey and that they were originally known as “journey” cakes. Whatever the origin, they are definitely worth a try.
7. Jamaican Fried Chicken
Fried chicken in Jamaica is unique due to its innovative combination of seasonings. The chicken can either be marinated in or rubbed with onion powder, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, and curry powder to provide authentic flavour.
8. Bully Beef
Centred on canned corned beef, also known as “bully beef,” in Jamaica, this is a quick and simple meal favoured by many Jamaicans, who add onions, tomatoes, and scotch bonnet peppers, and often rely on it during hurricane season.
A favourite comfort food, Festival can be found among street vendors and is often served with escovitch fish. It features a variety of spices and seasonings, reflecting the likes and dislikes of the cook. Made of a mix of cornmeal and all-purpose flour, it is then deep-fried in oil, so it must be good!
10. Jamaican Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is a favourite throughout the Caribbean, and Jamaica’s special spin on the dish features eggs, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, scotch bonnet and red bell peppers, and lots of sharp cheddar cheese.
11. Oxtail and Beans
Jamaican-style oxtail and beans is a thick beef stew-type dish that is slow-cooked with bacon, potatoes, and canned butter beans, with the addition of tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, garlic, thyme, and onions.
12. Hominy Porridge
Many Jamaicans remember eating this porridge for breakfast. It features coconut milk, condensed milk, and brown sugar, with flavours of nutmeg and optional vanilla.