Haitian Black Rice: A Delicious and Flavorful Classic Dish

Haitian Black Rice, also known as The unique flavor of Diri ak djon djon rice, is native to Haiti’s northernmost regions, where it is cultivated. Typically reserved for special occasions and as a source of protein-enhancing seasoning, its inedible stem can make this dish unappetizingly long and difficult to cook. 

Haitian Mushroom - mushroom

Nonetheless, when boiled, the grayish appearance and unique aroma provide an unparalleled experience for any diner! It should be served alongside meat or fish dishes into which it has been incorporated so that one may taste the distinct flavor profile of this culinary delight!

Haitian black mushroom rice is a classic Haitian dish full of flavor and enjoyed by many. The dish gets its unique black color from the djon djon mushroom, native to Haiti.

The History of Haitian Black Rice

Haitian Black Rice has been a delicacy in Haiti for generations. The dish originated in northern Haiti, where the djon djon mushroom grows abundantly. Initially, this delectable culinary delight was reserved for those special occasions such as Sunday dinners or weddings.

Haitian Black Rice - white and black mushroom in green grass field

Over the years, Diri djon djon has emerged as a critical component in Haitian cuisine and is now widely sought by diners around the globe. Its unique taste and opalescent color have made it a popular dish in restaurants throughout Haiti and various continents.

Haitian Black Rice Recipe

The primary ingredient in riz djon djon is the djon djon mushroom. These Haitian fungi are elusive but can be remedied with dried black mushrooms as an alternative.

Servings: 4 

  • 1 1/3 cups djon-djon mushrooms (or European, dried mushrooms) 
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced 
  • 3/4 small onion, chopped 
  • 3/4 shallot, sliced 
  • 1 1/3 cups long-grain Jasmine rice or basmati rice, rinsed with cold water 
  • 1 1/3 teaspoons salt 
  • 2 2/3 cloves 
  • 1 (8-ounce) can cook lima beans (or green peas) 
  • 3/4 tablespoon tritri (optional) 
  • 1 to 2 thyme sprigs 
  • 1/2 green Scotch bonnet pepper
  • Salt and Pepper to tastes
  • Maggi cubes (optional)

There are various ways to cook the rice when making Haitian Black Rice, but we will cover the stovetop and Instant Pot methods.

Stovetop Method:

Soak mushrooms in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes in a small saucepan. For 10 minutes, boil mushrooms over low heat. Put the mushrooms through a strainer to strain the djon djon and save the liquid.

On medium heat, add oil to a large pot. For 2 minutes, stir the garlic, onion, and shallot into the pan. 

stainless steel cooking pot with lid

Add the rice and stir for 3 minutes. Add the mushroom water, salt, cloves, tritri, and lima beans. 

Bring to a boil until all of the water is gone. Turn down the heat, stir the rice, and then put the whole Scotch bonnet pepper and thyme on top. 

Cook for 20 minutes with the lid on. 

Pepper and thyme should be taken out. Stir before serving.

Instant Pot Haitian Black Rice:

  1. Rinse the rice and set it aside.
  2. Combine the dried mushrooms and the water in your Instant Pot. Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.
  3. Cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes. Once done, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure.
  4. Remove the mushrooms from the liquid and chop them into small pieces.
  5. Select the Sauté function on your Instant Pot and add oil.
  6. Add the minced garlic, chopped onion, and chopped shallot. Cook for about 2 minutes or until fragrant and tender.
  7. Add the chopped mushrooms and stir for about 1 minute.
  8. Add the rinsed rice and stir with the onion and mushroom mixture.
  9. Pour the mushroom water into the pot and add salt, cloves, tritri, and lima beans. Stir to combine.
  10. Place the whole Scotch bonnet pepper and thyme on top of the mixture.
  11. Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position. Cook on manual high pressure for 3 minutes.
  12. Once done, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure.
  13. Remove the Scotch bonnet pepper and thyme sprigs.
  14. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot.

Haitian Black Rice is an enticing and novel dish that Haitians have savored for centuries. The widespread consumption of tamales has helped bring this delightful treat into the spotlight, allowing it to become a beloved culinary Haitian food favorite around the globe. 

Whether you choose to prepare it on your stovetop or within an Instant Pot, remember them!

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