Pelau

pelau

The recipe for this quintessential Trinidadian staple has been long overdue on this blog. Pelau is the perfect analogy to describe Trinidad. It is a mix of ingredients to make a one pot dish. Similarly, Trinis are a blend of races all living on our beautiful tropical isle. It is the caribbean version of Jambalaya except that I like pelau much, much better. It is a dish that starts off with caramelised sugar as its base and ends up as a savoury concoction instead, believe it or not.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 pounds chicken cut into pieces and seasoned with 1 tablespoon Green Seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 2 cups rice – washed
  • 1 cup carrots – diced
  • 1 cup canned OR fresh pre-boiled pigeon peas
  • 4 pimiento peppers – sliced
  • 1 medium onion – sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chadon beni/culantro/cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 40 grams coconut milk powder (optional)
  • 5 to 6 cups water
  • salt to taste

Method

  • In a big pot, add 3 tablespoons canola oil.
  • Turn on your stove to medium-high heat.
  • Wait for about 2 minutes or until the oil is hot and add 5 tablespoons brown sugar.
  • Allow your sugar to caramelise and become a shade 0r 2 darker than golden brown. Stir your sugar throughout this process to ensure an even distribution of heat so that your sugar doesn’t burn.
  • It should look like this when ready:

pelau3.jpg

  • Carefully add your chicken at this stage and stir.
  • Turn your heat down to medium low and allow your chicken to stew in its own juices for about 10 minutes or so.
  • After about 10 minutes, add your rice and stir. Cook for about a minute.
  • Add your peas, carrots, onions, pimientos, chadon beni and garlic, stir and cook for another minute.
  • Add a 1/4 cup water and 40 grams coconut milk powder and stir.
  • Cook until the water has evaporated so that  the flavour is better infused into your dish.
  • Add 5 to 6 cups of water and cook until your rice is tender and the liquid has evaporated.
  • Adjust seasonings.
  • Enjoy.

pelau2

 

msc

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