Pelau is a stew from Trinidad made with either beef,chicken or Lamb. The unique flavor comes from searing the meat in caramelized sugar then simmering with rice, coconut milk (optional), and pigeon peas.
Should Yields: to serve 4-6 people
- 2 lbs lamb pieces
- Seasoning for meat
- 1 tin pigeon peas (gungo peas)
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 2 tbsp cooking margarine (golden ray as most Trinidadians are familiar with) /salted butter
- 1 scotch bonnet peppers
- 4 Cups boiling water
- 2tbsp oil and
- 3tbsp brown sugar to burn
One large batch of seasoning if no bottle green seasoning then = (2 cloves garlic-chopped ,1 small onion -chopped, 2 sprig chive -chopped, 2 sprigs fine leaf thyme-chopped ,small handful of fresh chopped coriander 2 table spoons soy sauce,2 table spoons water, 2 table spoons ketchup, 2 pinches of salt,and 1 tsp all purpose seasoning) and let marinate (if no fresh ingredients dry ones can be substituted but use less at discretion )
- Place meat pieces in large bowl.
- Sprinkle all seasoning above over meat and let stand over night in fridge, if not,then at least for 1-2 hrs before cooking until it has been marinated in the seasoning (or if in a rush 1/2 hours at room temperature)
- Browning the sugar (this gives the dish the dark brown colour) browning can also be bought and used to get the desired colour if sugar burning doesn’t give the colour you want. Be sure to have your kitchen well ventilated for this process.
- Place oil in a stew pot /dutch oven or deep non stick pan
- Bring to high heat and add the sugar (heaping) and allow to brown/burn
- Once all the sugar looks all brown and hasn’t caramelised add the seasoned meat to the pot and stand back (this will smoke and splatter from water in the meat touching the hot oil)
- Stir meat to ensure all is covered by the browning and cover let cook for 5-7mins
- Empty the tin of pigeon peas into the pot (with the tin water or without) with the meat and stir let that cook for another 3-5 minutes. You can add some seasoning to taste at this point (all purpose seasoning, Maggie,lamb seasoning but not salt)
- Add 2 cups of rice and stir to coat the rice and mix the ingredients in the pot
- Add 4 cups of hot/boiling water if you didn’t add the water from the tin peas in if you did add the tin water only add 3 cups of water
- Stir Add 2 tbsp of ketchup,1 tablespoons of margarine ,add salt now as you would have if making normal boil rice…taste and add more to suit and stir.
- You can now add the Scotch Bonnet Pepper (do not let the scotch bonnet pepper to burst in the stirring process)
- Turn down heat to low cover pot and let cook until all the water has dried up and the rice is fluffy and cooked
- if during the cooking process the rice is still hard while the water has dried up, your fire may have been still high so add a little water to cook the rice until soft but not too much to make the dish soggy.
Enjoy with some Coleslaw and/or fresh green salad and/or a slice of Avocado …yummmm :D