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As everyone knows my husband is Haitian, so one of the things I have tried to do is learn to prepare traditional Haitian dishes that he is accustomed to and likes. Yesterday, I prepared Djon Djon or black rice for the first time.

Djon djon mushrooms are grown in the northern part of Haiti and are considered a delicacy.  They are black, and when boiled or soaked in hot water, release a gray-black coloring, which gives the rice a very distinctive aroma, color and flavor.  It is the liquid that the mushrooms are soaked in, that is used to cook the rice and gives it that dark color. If you have not had the opportunity to try black rice before, I highly recommend it. This rice is very tasty and I must say that I didn’t do such a bad job at it myself.

Here’s an instructional video on how to prepare the rice.  My personal recipe will follow soon.

2 to 3 cups of rice (white, brown or parboiled)
1 cup Djon Djon (dried mushrooms)
1 green Onion chopped
2 or 3 garlic mashed/crushed
2 or 3 pieces of parsley or cilantro, chopped
4 to 6 Cloves
3 or 4 sprigs of Thyme
3 tbsps vegetable or canola Oil
1 pack frozen lima beans
Salt (to taste)
Garlic Powder (to taste)

Soak mushrooms in a bowl of hot water (5 to 6 cups of water depending on how much rice is being prepared.  Rule of thumb: 1 cup of rice = 2 cups of water) and let it seep for 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat pot on stove at about medium heat. To hot pot add oil, garlic and onions. Let cook until onions are translucent.  Add lima beans, stir and let cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.

While the lima beans are cooking, strain the water from the mushrooms. Reserving the water and discarding the mushrooms (using a wooden spoon, I usually squeeze all excess liquid from mushrooms).  Add mushroom water to the pot.

Add cloves, thyme, parsley, and all other seasonings.  Stir all ingredients together. Cover the pot and allow mixture to come to a boil (about 10 minutes).  When the liquid comes to a boil, add rice and stir.  Do not cover pot but allow liquid to evaporate (about 10 to 12 minutes).  When liquid is almost gone, stir rice, cover pot and lower heat. Let rice finish cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes.

My finished product