Friday, April 29, 2011

Yummm! I-tal ("Is Vital") Stew Peas

After a terrific time last week in Trinidad and Tobago, I am super excited to head on over to Jamaica!!!!!

Our recipe this week is for I-tal Stew Peas, a dish that is DELICIOUS and so good for you!!! Ital or I-tal (pronounced "eye'-tall") is food often celebrated by those in the Rastafari movement.

The word "I-tal" derives from the English word "vital", with the initial syllable replaced by i. This is done to many words in the Rastafari vocabulary to signify the unity of the speaker with all of nature.

I-tal ("Is Vital") Stew Peas

Recipe Courtesy of


2 cups red peas (kidney beans)
2 whole scotch bonnet peppers (if you like it hot cut the pepper up)
¼ cup water
2 cups coconut milk
bay leaves
10 pimento grains (allspice)
cloves garlic (1 crushed and 3 whole)
3 chopped scallions
1 small onion chopped
3 sprigs of thyme
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon natural sea salt (sold in stores)
2 potatoes (Irish), cubed
1 sweet potato, cubed
3 carrots, sliced
Veggie spinners/dumplings (See Recipe Below)


Soak the peas in water for a least 10-12 hours in the pot
Place coconut milk, bay leaves, scallion, pimento grain, whole garlic and whole pepper in the pot.
Slowly boil and simmer for 1 ½ hours or until the peas are tender.
Season by adding the onions, crushed garlic and thyme.
Add carrots, spinners and potatoes
Let simmer for 30 minutes
Remove the scallions, bay leaves and hot pepper before serving.
Serve hot with white rice.

Veggie Spinners


1 cup wheat flour
Enough water to bind


Place flour in a medium bowl.
Work mixture with hands while adding enough water to bind, making a stiff dough.
Roll into 1 inch long pieces, drop into boiling stew peas or soup.
Boil until they float or add them during the last 20mins of the cooking process.

If you have a Caribbean recipe you'd love to share, be sure to email me!

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