Friday, February 13, 2009

Jag (Jagacida, Cape Verdean Beans and Rice)

It is an ongoing project of mine to incorporate more legumes into my diet.

Growing up, beans made scarce in our household. Save for the occasional desserts with bean pastes in them, we never ate beans. Bean-eating must have skipped two generations in our family.

A couple of weeks back, I bought some dried lima beans because I couldn't find the canned ones. I get canned beans because I have always been intimidated by dried ones, but I really should be buying dried because they are cheaper and I do have more control vis a vis the sodium.

When we were looking for a side dish to go with our Portuguese wine-marinated pork stew, we lucked out and found a dish called "Jag," short for Jagacida. Oh goodie, the bean-and-rice dish called for lima beans, which I already had soaking that day.

Of course, you know we had all sorts of fun saying the name. JAG!

The recipe called for sweating an onion in some olive oil. Add some paprika (I used about a teaspoon of smoked hot paprika) to the onions and continue to sweat the onions until lightly brown. Then some minced parsley (I used about 8 sprigs) to the mix.

At this point, I took about 2 cups of rice and dropped the grains in with the onions and parsley. I let them toast for a couple of minutes before I added in 6 cups of water.

Bring to a boil and let it simmer until the rice is done. When the rice is done, mix in the lima beans. The lima beans were cooked separately and then drained before being added to the rice.

The dish, for something so simple, really tasted very rich, almost buttery. In fact, it even tasted like the rice had been simmered in chicken stock, which it wasn't.

I ate this with the simple sautéed kale with some hazelnut gremolata on top.

It was very good, very filling, very comforting dish.

So, how much did this filling and comforting dish cost?

For those of you who are interested, here's the breakdown.
(I'm practicing for Hobo Mondays at Thursday Night Smackdown. Check it out.)

Kale and Jagacida = 4 servings
Kale, 2 bunches = $3.99
Lima Beans, approximately 150 g = $1.33
Parsley, 8 sprigs, stalks and all = $0.25
Onion = $0.50
Rice, approximately 2 cups = $1.80
Lemon, 1 = $0.50
Garlic, 4 cloves = $0.15
TOTAL = $8.52 (CAD)

The hazelnut gremolata is a "fancy-ifying" touch, but us plebeians can do without it. Although without the hazelnuts, the gremolata would not cost anything extra, because we can use about a couple of sprigs of parsley, plus the garlic, plus the zest of the lemon to make the gremolata.

Bear in mind, the above total is in Canadian dollars, so with the current exchange rate (CAD1.0000 = USD0.7980), it works out to $6.80 (USD).

Let's call it a grand total of 7 US dollars and we'll throw in a couple dollar's worth of hazelnuts to keep it under 10 bucks for 4 people.

Costing for the entire meal: Pork, Kale, Jag
I just realized that the picture of the plated dish includes the wine-marinated pork stew we did as the main.

Now, if we were going to include the pork into the mix, I would say that the pork, jagacida, and kale would serve 6 people very, very well.

There was 2.5 pounds worth of pork at $3.88 per pound, totalling $9.70. We had a bottle of wine, I'm guessing it's about 10 dollars a bottle, and used up a cup of it for the marinade, or $2.50. The subtotal for the pork stew dish comes to $12.20.

Vinho d'Alhos (Pork) = 6 servings
pork butt, 2.5 pounds = $9.70
white wine = $2.50
Pork Total = $12.20 (CAD)
Kale + Jag Total = $8.52 (CAD)

GRAND TOTAL = $20.72 (CAD)

Converted, this is USD16.53, or $2.76 per serving.

Not bad at all. Unfortunately, this whole spread (meat, starch, vegetable) is just a little bit over the alloted total of $13 for 6 people per Hobo Mondays rule. Even if we got less generous and stretched out the dinner offering to 8 people, it would still be over the alloted $16 -- by just 53 cents -- for 8 people.

Dang it. I'm almost afraid I'm going to be smacked and told to make these numbers work. ;)

[eatingclub] vancouver Portuguese meal
Vinho d'Alhos (Portuguese Wine and Garlic Marinated Pork)
Sautéed Kale
Jag (Jagacida, Cape Verdean Beans and Rice)
Hazelnut Gremolata

Other Portuguese dishes
Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale and Chorizo Soup)

Jag recipe from
(note: We tried searching for "jagacita", but found no sites! We later discovered that most sites spelled it with a "d".)

Wikipedia: Cape Verde


  1. Hmm, maybe a different produce shop will give you better prices, and that would make the numbers work :) I love beans and we have a family friend who is almost 60 years old and gets all giggly and annoyingly juvenile each time I do, because he's afraid it'll give me the toots. Give me a break! They're healthy and they taste good-- and I don't really notice that problem.

  2. TS, I LOVE legumes! This is really odd in my family, as having Chinese parents (and myself being Chinese born). However, because I grew in places where it is consumed a lot, I learned to appreciate it. Oh, the idea for the cost of ingredients was excellent!

  3. This rice dish sounds so fabulous

  4. Close enough for jazz is what I say... love the look of theose legumes. They're making me want to make a pot-o-beans!!

  5. This looks delicious! What a great and satisfying meal!

  6. I love the marriage of the Cape Verdean starch and legumes with the portuguese-style pork, especially with the kale. You were really playing with some authentic portuguese colonial food history. Can you tell us anymore about the Jag(acida)? It's not a dish i know anything about and would love to know more!

  7. i'm a fan of each and every bean i've ever put into my mouth, and i'm quite intrigued by this cape verdean variety. mostly i'm excited because they're huge!

  8. Manggy:
    Haha... hey, he's just young at heart. But, it justs takes the body a little time to adjust. So, the solution is to keep eating more beans! =)

    We thought that Chinese people didn't really eat beans (except those sweet, dessert-y ones). But I think we were wrong! We see beans in those Cantonese soups, at least.

    The costing is JS' domain. I'm too lazy for that. Teehee.

    It actually was. I was a bit surprised. =)

    We actually didn't even know at first that the jag dish was a Cape Verdean dish and not really from the "motherland." From our understanding, it's simply a rice and beans dish. I've seen some recipes that call for other types of beans (kidney, for example). It usually has paprika, and sometimes linguica or chourice(sp?).

    Haha... they were dried lima beans. This was the first time I've seen them.

  9. I grew up on jagacida! And now that I'm a poor college student it's a good twist to the usual rice and beans. It's one of my favorites.

  10. Katie:
    Oh nice! It's glad to know that we didn't make something up, that this really is a nice, comfort food type of dish. Thanks for visiting!

  11. Hi, Great Blog & Postings, all dishes are looking tasty and delicious i will try all of these, Can any one send me dish recipes of Indian Rice like: Biryani, Pullow, rice kheer. Thankful to you

  12. You can know all about Jag Jagacida Cape Verdeam beans from this post. Useful information


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