Haitian Rice and Beans 2 Ways

December 2008-February 2009

There are several styles of Haitian rice and beans: Diri ak Djon-djon, which is native to northern Haiti, and where the small, black djon-djon mushrooms are grown. The stem is inedible but the mushroom gives the dish a distinctive aroma, flavour and blackish colour.
There is the Diri ak Pwa (black beans and rice); Diri Kole ak Pwa Wouj (red beans and rice); and Diri Blan sos Pwa Noir (white rice with pureed black bean sauce.

Diri ak Djon-djon

  • 2 cups djon-djon mushrooms (or regular dried mushrooms)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 2 cups long-grain rice, washed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cloves
  • 12-ounce can green peas or lima beans
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 whole green Scotch bonnet pepper


  1. In small saucepan, soak mushrooms in 4 cups water for 10 minutes. Boil mushrooms on low heat for 10 minutes. Strain mushrooms through a fine sieve, reserving the liquid.
  2. Add oil to a Dutch pot on medium heat. Stir in garlic, onion, and shallot for 2 minutes. Add rice and stir for 3 minutes.
  3. Add water reserved from the mushroom, salt, cloves and lima beans or green peas. Bring to a boil until water evaporates.
  4. Lower heat, stir rice, place Scotch bonnet pepper and thyme on top. Cover and cook for 20 more minutes - until rice grains soften.
  5. Remove pepper and thyme. Stir before serving.

Variation: Add shrimp, crab or lobster for a boost.

Diri ak Pwa

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small, onion, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 sprig thyme, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons oregano, dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 3/4 cups water or stock
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat oil over medium flame in a large pot. Add onions, pepper and sauté until onion is translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or two.
  3. Add tomato sauce, beans and herbs and simmer 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add rice, water and vinegar. Season well with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for 15-18 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered 5-10 minutes. Stir lightly and serve.



-By JamaicanEats

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