Haitian Rice and Beans (Diri ak Pwa)

haitian rice and beans
  • Yield : 9 cups
  • Servings : 8-10
  • Cook Time : 1:15 h
  • Ready In : 1:30 h

Needless to say rice and beans are a staple in the carribean. A meal is not a meal unless there is a side of rice and beans. Haitian rice and beans can be made with a variety of beans, but the most pouplar are Pinto, red kidney beans, and black beans. The process is pretty much the same regardless of which beans you use. The dish is very nutritious. Rice is rich in starch and an excellent source of energy. Rice also has iron, vitamin B and protein. Beans also contain a good amount of iron and an even greater amount of protein than rice. Together, they make up a complete protein.


  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 cup dry beans (Pinto, red, or black beans)
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves (1/4 tsp ground cloves)
  • 3 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp thyme (2 sprigs)
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk


Step 1

In a large pot, add the water, beans, salt, 1 tbs olive oil and allow the beans to cook for about 1 hour on medium high heat or until beans are soft.

Step 2

Once cooked, strain the water into a seperate container for later use.

Step 3

In another large pot, add 1 tbs of olive oil, and sauté the onions and garlic for about 2 minutes.

Step 4

Add coconut milk, chicken bouillon, beans and mix thoroughly.

Step 5

Add cloves and 6 cups of the bean water to the pot and bring to boil.

Step 6

Mix in the rice and whole scotch bonnet pepper and allow the rice to cook for about 20 min or until there is just a little amount of water left.

Step 7

Reduce the heat to medium,add thyme, butter, and cover the pot with a lid and allow the remaining water to be absorbed. About 10-15 min.

Step 8

Once cooked fluff the rice and serve.

Suggested Haitian Rice and Beans Products

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Comments (14)

  1. posted by Yazmin Jazelle on April 8, 2014

    Yes! Why couldn’t i find this post earlier. A few months ago i would have killed for this. It makes things so simple…. One question i have though. When you make this yourself.. Do you use the epis? Or do i not need that for the rice? I was under the impression that the epis gets sautéed just as the onions. Thank you sooo much for this post!

    • posted by HaitianCooking on August 31, 2014

      You can substitute the spices for Epis.

  2. posted by Nancy on November 26, 2014

    What is the “epis”? People keep saying it assuming we all know what goes into it. Please tell!!! Thanks! 🙂

    • posted by HaitianCooking on December 14, 2014

      Epis is a seasoning base made up of different herbs and spices. Here is a link on how to make your own EPIS.

  3. posted by shameera on May 17, 2015

    I am soooo happy I found your site. I have a Haitian husband and I love my mother in laws food and always wanted to try to make it myself. especially since my own son has pretty much is growing up eating nothing but hatian food his grandmom brings to us. I would like to know about how much epis should be added to the recipe

    Thanks so much in advance

    • posted by Angel on February 4, 2016

      I’m happy I looked online and saw this website too! My husband is Haitian and his mom and sisters live in florida so I haven’t had her rice and beans yet. I would love to make Haitian food for my husband and make him feel at home. He loves to try all different kinds of ethnic foods so I want to chef if it up for him and actually when we cook together it always turns out great!

  4. posted by heather on May 28, 2015

    I do not see a step for the thyme and butter – I am done with the steps and have left over parts.
    Also, do I remove the scotch bonnet or keep it in the dish while serving?

    • posted by HaitianCooking on May 30, 2015

      Thanks. The thyme and butter goes in right before you place the lid. You can remove the pepper right before fluffing the rice.

  5. posted by jolimene on July 5, 2015

    what kind of rice should I use? My mom used to buy madame gagoose.

    • posted by HaitianCooking on July 10, 2015

      That’s the one I also use.

  6. posted by DAWN on June 26, 2016


  7. posted by Angie on December 27, 2016

    Thank you so much for these recipes! I just found your website today and it helped me make an amazing meal to bring back many happy memories tonight. For several years I traveled to Haiti to work/volunteer, but have not been able to return for over a year now and miss Haiti terribly. Thank you again for bringing these wonderful smells and flavors to my home. I plan to share your site on my FB page!

    • posted by rico on February 3, 2017

      hey Angie let’s have a Haitian dinner sometime, if you are in the boston area

  8. posted by Mike on November 16, 2017

    This rice was perfect in my opinion. One thing I did was cut up the bonnet which maybe next time I will just leave whole and stew as it was pretty spicy. My wife is Haitian and I am German. I’ve been eating Haitian food for many years now and I must say this taste better than the rice I’ve had from my in laws. I think it was just the right amount of clover as I am not a huge clover fan but do like it in moderation. Anytime I’ve had this rice before it has had way too much clover. I love to cook and thank you for providing these recipes so I can broaden my portfolio and bring some authentic home cooking to my wife and kids.
    I also made your chicken and dinner at our home tonight was delicious!!!


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