Vegetarian jerk patties … with pigeon peas!!

vegetarian jerk patties

Pigeon peas are delicious! They’re nice because they have a subtle, distinctive flavor, and because they retain their shape and texture, even when cooked. And I just read on wikipedia that pigeon peas make a well-balanced human food! Sounds tasty, doesn’t it?

Jerk spice is a Jamaican blend of spices that is most commonly rubbed onto meat before cooking. It consists principally of Allspice, thyme, and hot scotch bonnet peppers. An unlikely mix, but one that is quite delicious! I used this spice to flavor a filling for a vegetarian version of jamaican meat patties – a pastry with a curried crust and a spiced-meat interior. Our meat-free version combines spicy, intriguing flavors in a crispy yellow crust!

This recipe for preparing the peas also goes well with rice (no crust!), if you add some water and cook till they get nice and brothy.

And while you’re waiting for your jerk patties to cook, you can do the Cool Jerk with the Capitols. What a song!


2 cups flour
6 oz butter, frozen and grated
1 t. tumeric
1 t. cumin
pinch cayenne
ice water

Mix the flour with the spices, salt and pepper. Mix in the grated butter, add water till it forms a nice dough and make it into a smooth ball. Wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.


1 batch roasted mushrooms. Heavy on the thyme, omit the rosemary.

1 clove garlic
olive oil
1 can of pigeon peas, rinsed and drained (If you can’t find pigeon peas you could use black beans or pinto beans, but it would change the flavor and texture considerably)
1/2 t. allspice
1/2 t. smoked paprika
cayenne to taste (I don’t have scotch bonnet peppers! But I don’t think they’re hard to find)
salt & pepper
1-2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1/2 t. lemon juice
1 egg, beaten.

1. Warm the oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic, and as it starts to brown add the pigeon peas, the allspice, cayenne, and paprkia. Fry until the pan is quite dry and the peas are cooked through. (I added a splash of white wine to get all of the nice spices cooking to the bottom of the pan, and then let that cook away as well)

pigeon peas

2. Combine the mushrooms, peas, lemon juice and cheese in a bowl. Add salt and plenty of black pepper to taste. In a small dish, beat the egg, and mix all but a tablespoon in with the mushroom/pea mixture.

pigeon peas & mushrooms

3. break off a golf-ball sized lump of dough, roll it on a lightly-floured surface until it’s a rough circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the middle. Fold the dough over to form a semi-circle. Fold the edge of the dough over onto itself, and crimp it with the tines of a fork to make it pretty and hold it together firmly. Poke the patty in two or three places with the fork. Place on lightly greased baking sheet.

4. Brush each patty with the remaining beaten egg. Bake in a preheated 425 oven for about 1/2 hour until starting to brown on top.

6 thoughts on “Vegetarian jerk patties … with pigeon peas!!

  1. Just came here from the Guardian Allspice post, these patties look and sound delicious. I like the idea of adding spices to the dough. Turmeric adds a nice yellow’ish’ colour to food as well as taste. It’s nice to meet someone who likes to use spices in the kitchen!

    • Thanks for your kind words!! You’re right about the turmeric adding a nice yellowish color – and I do like to add spices to the dough for the flavor, too. Thanks!

  2. Hi Claire:
    (1) How are these at room temperature? (2) Do they stand up well if they’re made a day in advance? (3) And how many patties does this recipe make? (I’m looking for a recipe that I can make ahead of time and leave out for a party.) Thanks!

    • Hello! Sorry it took so long to get back! They are good at room temperature, and they do stand up well if they’re made a day in advance. I’d say they make 6 – 8 if you’re making them big enough for people to eat one or two for dinner, but if you’re leaving them out for a party you could make them smaller and get more like 8 – 10. I hope they work out for you!

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