Today Show: Sweet Potato Pone Recipe & Jamaican Peas and Rice Recipe


By Dylan McCartney

Today Show: Al Roker & Charles Mattocks Jamaican Recipes

Al Roker was joined by renowned chef Charles Mattocks, aka The Poor Chef, who made a name for himself as the author of Eat Cheap But Eat Well, a book on healthy, cost-effective, and delicious meals. The two tackled two traditional Jamaican dishes—peas and rice and sweet potato pone.


Today Show: Jamaican Meals

Roker has fond memories of his time spent at the dinner table, where his mother prepared Jamaican dishes.

“She would tell me how to make them, but she never had definite recipes, so I would just keep trying until finally she told me—’this is good,'” Roker said.

Today Show: Sweet Potato Pone Recipe

Today Show: Sweet Potato Pone Recipe & Jamaican Peas and Rice Recipe

Al Roker and The Poor Chef, Charles Mattocks, shared Jamaican classic dishes: a Sweet Potato Pone recipe and a dish called Jamaican Peas and Rice.


Roker and Mattocks share an admiration for this dish, both with fond memories of eating it as children.

Al Roker Sweet Potato Pone Ingredients

  • 6 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 4 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Pineapple, crushed & drained
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Cloves
  • 1 cup Dark Brown Sugar

Today Show Sweet Potato Pone Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Boil potatoes until soft. Then mash with butter in a bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredients, mixing together well until combined.
  • Fold in pineapple last. Pour batter into a prepared 9×12 dish.
  • Bake until browned, about 30 minutes.

Roker also said his mother used to place marshmallows on top, so those are an additional option. Also noted, raisins and/or wine can be added for additional flavor.

Today Show: Jamaican Peas and Rice Recipe

Mattocks did his best Jamaican impression in saying how much he enjoyed “Peas and rice, mon.”

According to Mattocks, the recipe calls for Scotch bonnets, which are a fiery type of pepper to add spice to the recipe. Roker and Mattocks cracked open a Red Stripe to celebrate their Jamaican heritage.

Charles Mattocks Jamaican Peas and Rice Ingredients

  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Thyme
  • 2 15-ounce cans Kidney Beans (red)
  • 2 cups Long Grain Rice
  • 13 oz. Coconut Milk
  • Habanero Water
  • 1 Green Pepper, chopped
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet pepper

Today Show Peas and Rice Directions

  1. Drain beans into a large measuring cup. Add coconut water and supplement with water until you have four liquid cups.
  2. Add liquid to a pot containing the other ingredients, except the rice and Scotch bonnet.
  3. Boil mixture and add rice, stirring for about a minute.
  4. Reduce to medium-low heat, add Scotch bonnet, and cover to cook for half an hour, or until rice is tender.
  5. Remove Scotch bonnet and serve.


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