Coconut Rice with Pigeon Peas
Truthfully, I really don't like coconut. I recall my parents taking us somewhere and my dad got these fresh coconuts and hacked them open for us to drink. My mother was slurping up that coconut water like she was in heaven or something. I also remember them scooping out the white fleshy part of the coconut and eating those as well. It was my first time seeing a real coconut and it was weird. They tried to get me to drink and eat some of it. I already knew I didn't like coconut but being that it was coconut in its purest form, I decided to give it a try. I tasted it and still didn't like it...
So why a coconut recipe? I was at my aunt's house one day and she made diriz djon djon. However, this wasn't the typical diriz djon djon that I was accustomed to. It tasted different. A good kind of different. It had an interesting flavor that was unique. I asked her what she put in the rice. Her response? "Kokoye." As much as I don't like coconut, this was 1 of the very few exceptions. The other exception is when coconut milk is mixed in with "Piman Bouk". Now that's a flavorful coconut flavored Haitian hot sauce that's really good. This rice really takes you back to the islands. It has a distinct yet subtle taste of coconut that is quite flavorful, even for those who are not a fan of coconut like me. Yet for those who love coconut, this is taking it to a whole new level which you'll totally enjoy.
2. In a pot on high heat, add 4 tbsps. oil, 1 small, finely diced onion, and 3 tbsps. of epis. Stir ingredients well and sauté for about 1 – 2 minutes.
3. Add in the pigeon peas and 1 crushed Maggie. Stir and mix contents well. (You also have the option of dissolving the Maggie cube in a little bit of water before adding it to the pot.) Sauté for an additional 2 – 3 minutes stirring occasionally to keep the pigeon peas from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
4. Shake both cans of coconut milk well before opening. Pour 1 can and ½ of the second can into the pot (a total of 3 cups). Add 2 cups of water to the pot. Sprinkle in 1 packet of Goya Sazon. Stir contents, cover the pot with its lid and allow it to come to a roaring boil.
5. Add 3 cups of jasmine white rice to the boiling liquid and stir contents. Allow it to return to a boil, uncovered. Sample liquid and if desired, add ½ tsp. of Adobo or to taste and/or salt to taste.
6. Continue to allow the liquid to boil as it reduces, stirring occasionally. When it reduces close to the level of the rice, turn down the heat to medium and stir in 3 tbsps. of butter. Continue to stir occasionally as the liquid further reduces and the butter fully incorporates.
7. When the liquid reaches the level of the rice, turn down the heat to about 2 - 3 notches above the lowest setting. Cover the pot with its lid and allow the rice to steam for about 15 – 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit for an additional 5 minutes. Rice is ready to be served and can be accompanied with your choice of sauce/meat/poultry.
Serves 4 - 6
What do you think of this recipe? What kind of sauce would you pair this dish with?
Let me know and comment below!
Let me know and comment below!