National rice Recipe
National rice
Flavors of Haiti
Total time: more than 2 hours

Prep. time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Soaking time: 12 hours

Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note

This is the Haitian version of red beans and rice which is found through the Caribbean and Creole region - in fact, in all of Latin America. In Haiti, it has really become a national dish. It's also known as Riz aux pois collés or Diri kolé ak pwa.

As elsewhere, you'll find little variations from one region to the other and one cook to another. Some add more richness with chicken broth, while others use bouillon cubes or just water. 

For 4-6 servings

- 550 g / 3 cups long grain rice(basmati type), washed and drained
- 365 g / 2 cups red beans
- 1 medium onion
- 2 shallots
- 2 garlic cloves
- 5 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 3 cloves
- thyme
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 small green chili (lampion)
- salt and pepper
- 2 litres / 8 cups water
- 3 chicken broth cubes

 Preparing the beans

  1. The night before, place the red beans in a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for 12 hours; drain.
  2. On the day, place the beans into a large pot, cover with 2 liters of water and add 1 Tbsp. oil. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours over low heat. The beans are cooked once they begin to split. They should be tender but not falling apart. Remove from the heat and drain, reserving the cooking liquid.

Preparing the rice

  1. Cut the salt pork into very small cubes; peel and finely chop the onion, shallots and garlic. Sauté everything in a large pot with 3 Tbsp.oil for 10 minutes over medium heat until the mixture begins to color.
  2. Add the beans, cloves, thyme, bouillon cubes and 1 1/2 liters of the bean cooking liquid. Season with salt. Bring to a boil. Add the rice and whole chili.Cook gently for 15-20 minutes, uncovered, until the rice is tender. Add a little more water if needed, but at the end, the water should be completely absorbed.
  3. Add the remaining oil and butter and cover. Let rest 15 minutes over low heat.
  4. Remove the chili and season with pepper before serving.
More recipe ideas

Photo: With the kind assistance of Negronews

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