Trinidad Pelau

Trinidad Pelau Recipe

In every culture around the world, there is a favourite one-pot dish: Indian Biryani, Vietnamese Pho, Guyanese Pepper Pot and Pelau. Trinidad Pelau is de one-pot dish at the heart of every Trini lime. See below a Trinidad pelau recipe is a jhorts your kids will love.

Pelau / Peleau / Pilau (n) A dish of browned meat, usually small pieces of beef or chicken, with rice, and usual pigeon peas. Originated from Farsi ‘pulāo’ a dish of rice boiled with meat, fish or fowl, with spices, raisins etc.’

Ingredients

The list of ingredients below can be found in your local Caribbean or Mexican grocery store.

Trinidad Pelau Ingredients
  • 4 boneless & skinless chicken breast cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
  • 2 cups of parboiled rice.
  • 1 can – 13.5 Fl. Oz Goya coconut milk.
  • 1 can – 13.5 Fl. Oz of Green Pigeon Peas.
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of Grace Browning.
  • 3/4 cup of light or dark brown sugar.
  • 1/2 cup of corn oil.
  • Salt / Black Pepper to taste.

Green Seasoning Ingredients

  • 15 Chadon Beni leaves or 1 cup of chopped cilantro.
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled.
  • 5 Pimento peppers or similar pepper based on your tolerance for spice.
  • 3 stalks of spring onions.
  • 5 sprigs of thyme.
  • 1 habanero pepper (optional).

Equipment

  • Food processor for grinding Green Seasoning ingredients (optional)
  • Big Trini Iron Pot or dutch oven.

Trinidad Pelau Directions

Season Chicken

  1. Wash and grind all green seasoning ingredients in a food processor or rough chop with a knife.
  2. In a bowl combine cubed chicken breast and two tablespoons of the green seasoning.
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight for better results.

Trinidad Pelau Recipe

  1. Put the iron pot on medium heat. Add corn oil and brown sugar. Stir continuously until brown sugar is melted and dark brown. (Lower the heat if the sugar starts to turn black and burn).
  2. Add the seasoned chicken to the melted brown sugar mixture and stir to coat all the chicken pieces. Cover pot and turn heat up to high for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes remove the cover from the pot. Add rice, pigeon peas, and coconut milk. Stir to incorporate all the ingredients. (Note: The pelau will be light brown or white at this point. To darken; see next step.)
  4. Add Grace Browning in small increments to the pot, stirring each time until you achieve the colour of brown pelau you want.
  5. Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until rice is cooked.
  6. Add salt to taste before serving. Garnish with cilantro or spring onions.

Pelau Simmering


In Trinidad, pelau is normally served with Trinidad hot sauce, mango kuchela, cold slaw, or zaboca. Visit our newly opened eStore for Trinidad items.

Trinidad Pelau steps in pictures

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