Dinner/ Rice/ Side dish

Diri Kole ak Pwa Wouj (Red beans and rice)

Diri kole ak pwa wouj (red beans and rice) is a staple dish in Haitian cuisine. Usually, I’m not a huge fan of this because I don’t like too many beans in my rice. When my mom makes this, I feel like she adds more beans than rice. If you’re not a huge bean fan like myself then this recipe that I’m going to share is great for you. The beans don’t overpower the rice, I think it is a perfect balance.

If you are pressed for time you can use 1 (15oz – 15.5oz) can of red kidney beans. The color of the rice may vary when using canned beans, it’s either going to be just right or pale, basically a hit or miss. Regardless of the color, it will still taste great, granted you follow this recipe. Another tip if you are pressed for time is to soak your beans the night before for 8-12 hours, this will cut your cooking time down to about 45 minutes or so (you have to experiment to figure the cooking time out).

Measuring out your liquid:

Usually when making rice most people use the 2 to 1 rule, which is 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. I tried that and used 4 cups of water for 2 cups of rice and my rice came out a little too mushy so I removed half a cup to make it 3 1/2 cups of water to 2 cups of rice and it came out perfect. After boiling your beans you drain the beans and set the liquid aside, I had approximately 3 cups of liquid from the beans. For my remaining half cup of liquid I used chicken broth, if you don’t have chicken broth you can use water.

Questions you may have:

Q: What kind of oil did you use?
A: I used olive oil in this recipe.

Q: Where can I find creamed coconut and cooking margarine?
A: I live in Brooklyn, NY so I usually get mine from the fruit stand. If you can’t find either just substitute the creamed coconut with coconut milk (I would use 3 cups of the reserved liquid and 1/2 cup of coconut milk). Substitute the cooking margarine with 1 tablespoon of butter.

Q: I don’t like using bouillon cubes because they have MSG in them, how do I substitute?
A: I usually use vegetable bouillon cubes, I get them from health food stores. They don’t contain any MSG… FYI it’s ok to use Maggie brand, but use it in moderation.

You can serve this with meat, fish, or poultry; it pairs well with many things. I sometimes make this with a side of sauce and have it like that. I know some of my true Haitians are saying “Kisa, san vyan?” (What, no meat?). Trust me, it’s ok to have it without meat cause it taste that great by itself. Hope you give it a try!



Watch me make Diri Kole ak Pwa Wouj here:

Diri Kole ak Pwa Wouj (Red beans and rice)

Print Recipe
Serves: 5 Cooking Time: 1 hour 45 minutes - 2 hours


  • 1 cup dry red kidney beans (rinsed)
  • 2 cups white jasmine rice (rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/8 cup epis
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon clove powder or 2 whole cloves
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon creamed coconut
  • 1 tablespoon cooking margarine
  • 1-2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 hot pepper



In a medium pot on medium to high heat, add beans and 12 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cook beans for 1 hour and 20 minutes. After an hour add 2 additional cups of water to the beans for the remaining 20 minutes. Once cooked drain beans and set liquid aside.


In a medium pot on a medium flame add oil and epis and mix. Add beans, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and bouillon cube and mix well until bouillon cube is dissolved.


Add 3 1/2 cups of the reserved liquid to beans along with coconut, margarine, clove powder, thyme and hot pepper and bring to a boil.


Once boiling add rice and stir. Let it come back to a boil until liquid has evaporated. Lower heat, cover with a tight fitting lid and allow rice to cook for 15-20 minutes. Serve & enjoy!


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  • T-Bab
    January 2, 2017 at 3:08 am

    I will be making some soon.
    Thank you for sharing.

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