Wednesday, November 7, 2012

haitian rice & beans ~ diri ak pwa

Dry red beans
1 - 12 to 15 ounce can coconut milk
(Geronne uses FRESH coconut shredded then wrings out the juice by hand)
Parsley bunch
2 garlic clove
1 green onion stalk (using only bottom 4 inches of the white root)
Oil - (use more than suggested below for moister rice)
1 cube of chicken or veggie bouillon  (in Haiti they use more than 1 cube)
2.5 cups white rice

(Depending on what bean you choose you might need to presoak your beans or add to the cooking time. **Read comments on this post - most people are finding more water/liquid is needed and more time to cook beans.)

Take a bundle of curly parsley and tie it together with a string so that the bunch is tied together.  this will enventually go into the pot of water for flavor.

Boil 4 cups of water in a large medium size soup pot
After boiling, add 1 very heaping cup of washed uncooked red beans
Continue boiling for 45+ minutes (until all beans are almost soft)

When beans are almost tender 1 can of coconut milk
And bundle of tied parsley
Finish boiling until tender

Strain the beans, but make sure to keep both the water/cocunut mixture as well as beans

in a mortar & pestal, crush garlic & green onion (bottom 4inches of green onion stalk with root removed)

In the original pot (which should now be empty of beans and water/cocunut mixture), bring heat back up to Medium High.
Add 2 or 3 tbs of oil.  When hot, add the garlic/onion mixture
Cool until browned.
Add beans & parsley bunch back to pot. Stir once.
Add water/cocunut mixture to pot.

Add 1 ts salt and bouillon cube.

Turn to high heat, cover, and bring to a boil.
When boils take lid off.
Only stir once. Then continue boiling while adding 2.5 cups of rice.

Keep stirring while heating up. 
Take out parsley.
Keep boiling on high so water boils down

After 15 minutes, move rice around a bit to take water to the bottom of pan, around the rice.

When most water seems gone, stir again, put on lid, and turn heat to Low.
Leave untouched 20 minutes


This recipe brought to you compliments of Geronne A., the maker of the very best batch of rice and beans available on this beautiful island - and possibly in the whole world.

See comments on this post for feedback from those that have tried it.
Geronne & Isaac


T & T Livesay said...

If you have questions I will try to get Geronne to give away more of the secrets.

Anonymous said...

Geronne's diri ak pwa are the best! I am so excited to have this recipe. Please pass on my thanks to Geronne for sharing. I can't wait to make it although I am fairly confident that it won't be as good as hers.


Jamie iVey said...

I was just about to post Aaron's recipe this week since people ask me for it every single week.

I'm gonna link em here for the ORIGINAL!!!


Janet said...

Thanks so much for sharing that! Sounds delicious!! I'll let you know how mine turns out!

R.J. said...


JABBY said...

I'm going to try and make this. Sounds so yummy! By "can" of coconut milk how much are we talking about?
Thank you!!

Saintly Nurse said...

That sounds exactly like the diri ak pwa we ate every day in Pignon. It was really really was good of the Creator to make those two foods be relatively cheap AND make a complete protein when combined.

T & T Livesay said...

Okay - Asked Geronne to try to give me a measurement (she wings it and she is using fresh coconut so that is a little different) -- She grabbed a 12-13 ounce can and said "Like this amount" of coconut milk ...

DISCLAIMER --- I hope hope hope that the rice amount matches that coconut milk amount -- but since she does this by feel it took our friend Aaron coming and grilling Geronne for hours to get what we have written down -- so maybe be willing to have the first batch be your practice batch. :)


The Entrekins said...

hardest part-
leave untouched for 20 minutes-

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited! I hope my first round is yummy and not a practice round. Thanks T! :)
-Carrie McKean

Carrie said...

So I did it! Yippeeee! And based on a complete newbie tackling the recipe, I had a couple of observations...

1) I think the beans need to either presoak or cook a lot longer.......or I just can't cook beans. Which is equally possible. They were the consistency of boiled peanuts - still very starchy; not mushy like I've had in other beans and rice. Is that right? (Maybe that's how it is supposed to be!) I will probably either presoak or increase cooking time in first stage - or both! But if I missed some trick, let me know! :)

2) I seemed to run out of liquid very fast... I added about an extra cup or more of H2O in the first stage while beans were boiling. (Maybe my boil was too hard?) And then when I strained the liquid before cooking rice, I only had about a cup of liquid remaining... so I ended up adding water to bring it up to the amount I needed to cook the rice per package directions (In my case, 1.5 cups water to 1 cup of rice). It's a trick that seemed to work - so don't stress too much about not having the right amount of liquid for rice - maybe people can just do what I did to fix the potential problem! :) (Ohhh... and someone else said they added coconut milk from the carton - not the thicker canned stuff - that might be yummy and up the coconut flavor!)

Thanks again for this recipe, Tara! I thought it had a terrific flavor - and Jacob and I were talking at dinner about how it is also a good exercise to remember how most of the world eats. I think we will be doing this regularly - not just because it is yummy, but as a way to intentionally simplify a bit in the food department and remember how blessed we are to have choices about something as fundamental as what to eat for dinner.

aplacedeepinmyheart said...

Thanks for sharing and I hope you can will some more Haitian recipes soon. Don't keep all that Haitian goodness to yourselves :)

Britney said...

Yum! I'm going to have to ask my Haitian husband about this coconut business... he's never mentioned adding it to our rice and beans before.

Sara said...

Thank you so much...looking forward to giving this a try! Nothing quite compares here in Minnesota! :)

Becky said...

Just a little tidbit, I saw this pinned on Pinterest. I thought it was pretty cool!

Holly said...

Yum! We are adopting sibling girls from Haiti (they are at GLA), and I had heard rumors about your recipe through the Ivey blog...
Well, I made this last night, and it was a HIT with our family (except I don't recommend starting with dry beans at 5pm if you want to eat before 8!)
I am thrilled that I have at least ONE yummy Haitian recipe for when our girls come home. I'd LOVE some more!!

Sarah said...

Thank you so much for this!!! I just made it. I tried to make it as closely as written as I could. I only had dry red kidney beans, so I found I needed to double both the water and the boiling time in step one (Maybe even more than doubled... I just kept it boiling until they were soft.) When I drained the beans I poured the liquid into my large measuring cup so I could see how much I had left, and since it was only 2 cups I added 2 more cups of water at that point in order to cook the rice. I used 2 veggie bouillion cubes and no additional salt since they have so much already. It came out WONDERFUL! It is so tasty! My 14 year old American-born son with American taste buds literally licked his bowl clean! We both think it would also be good with some hot sauce stirred into our bowls, but neither of us wanted to stop eating to go get it! Maybe for the leftovers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe Geronne! It is delicious! I live in MN and I've never eaten Haitian rice and beans before, but I followed your instructions and it tasted really good (I'm sure yours is better, especially with fresh coconut!). I'll definitely make this again. :) --Ruth

Lisa's Life said...

Thank you for posting the recipe! We have a young Haitian college student here and I have been attempting to replicate rice and beans for him. He never mentioned to anyone that coconut milk was involved. Apparently he thought we should have known that!

He was beyond excited that I made it and he said it looked exactly right and tasted wonderful.

I used small red beans (not pinto or kidney). I presoaked them overnight but I still had to cook them longer than the recipe allowed. I don't know what the difference is between the beans or the atmosphere, but obviously in America it takes longer to cook beans :)

I also added four cups of water when I added the rice. I had liquid left in the pan, maybe a cup or so. I probably would have maintained more liquid if I had cooked the beans with the lid on.

I cheated on the preparations. I was running short on time. I didn't remove the beans and the liquid to saute the onions and garlic, I just added some chopped onions and garlic about half way through the time cooking the beans.

I accidentally scorched the bottom of the pan, just a little. But it just added a whiff of "smokey" flavor!

Lisa's Life said...

Can you post an authentic pumpkin soup recipe? My only attempt came out more like cream of pumpkin. I liked it, but my student said it was not like home!

Lisa's Life said...

Oh, tell Geronne we are in Oklahoma City!

kayder1996 said...

Alright, Geronne. We haven't tried it yet but I've got it pinned on Pinterest. My oldest son and daughter are Haitian born so we like to occasionally try Haitian dishes. So far, the only thing I can make that is Haitian that we all like is fried plantains so hoping this one will be a winner. We live in Nebraska.

Keith said...

Yum! We tried it up here in Seattle- with brown rice- which worked. Thank you for sharing!

susie said...

Made this to share with our community group tonight. Can't wait for them to try it. We were in Haiti a couple weeks ago and had it several times while there. Love the recipe. Thank you for sharing it!

Leila Marcial said...

Being 1/2 Puerto Rican, I would use cilantro instead of regular parsley for r& ground garlic, onion, & aji dulce (cubanel peppers)... it's funny how all the Caribbean islands have the same origins - Indigenous, African, & some white but different foods! The same veggies too, but different flavours. I want to come & serve in the Maternity Center. I dont speak Creole, but i know Spanish & a little French. I will get lessons from the Haitian Nurses i work with.

Leila Marcial said...

Being 1/2 Puerto Rican, I would use cilantro instead of regular parsley for r& ground garlic, onion, & aji dulce (cubanel peppers)... it's funny how all the Caribbean islands have the same origins - Indigenous, African, & some white but different foods! The same veggies too, but different flavours. I want to come & serve in the Maternity Center. I dont speak Creole, but i know Spanish & a little French. I will get lessons from the Haitian Nurses i work with.