Cover the beans with water and soak overnight. Drain. Put the beans in a large saucepan; add the coconut cream and the water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook until the beans are tender - the time will vary according to age. Add the thyme, hot pepper, garlic, scallion and black pepper. Simmer for a few minutes, then add the rice. The liquid should now be about 1 inch above the rice, so add the water if necessary. Cover the pot, bring to the boil once again, then immediately turn the heat to low. The rice will be ready as soon as the liquid disappears and each grain of rice is separate. Stir before serving. At Christmas, rice and peas is often made with green gungo peas.
Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright