Caribbean Pelau Recipe

Caribbean Pelau Recipe

Pelau is a beloved Caribbean one-pot dish that brings together a delightful mix of rice, meat, vegetables, and coconut milk, all enhanced with a rich blend of spices. This hearty meal is known for its depth of flavour, often featuring chicken or beef, but it can be adapted with your preferred protein. brings you this authentic recipe, perfect for anyone looking to savour a true taste of the Caribbean at home.

 Prep Time: 30 minutes  Cook Time: 1 hour  Serving Size: 4.  Difficulty: Medium


  • 1 kg chicken thighs, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups parboiled rice
  • 1 cup pigeon peas (or black-eyed peas)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Marinate the Chicken:
    In a large bowl, season the chicken pieces with salt, black pepper, and fresh thyme. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Caramelize the Sugar:
    Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and cook until it caramelizes, turning a dark brown colour. Be careful not to burn it.

  3. Brown the Chicken:
    Add the marinated chicken to the pot, stirring well to coat each piece with the caramelized sugar. Cook until the chicken is browned on all sides.

  4. Sauté Vegetables:
    Add the chopped onion, garlic, and bell peppers to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.

  5. Combine Ingredients:
    Stir in the rice, pigeon peas, allspice, and bay leaves. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.

  6. Add Liquids:
    Pour in the coconut milk and chicken broth. Stir to ensure everything is evenly distributed. Bring to a boil.

  7. Simmer:
    Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 35-40 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

  8. Serve:
    Once cooked, remove the bay leaves. Garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.

Enjoy your homemade Caribbean Pelau, a dish that is sure to bring the vibrant flavours of the Caribbean to your kitchen!


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