This recipe for Trinidadian pelau comes from Brixton restaurant, Caribe’. Also try their recipes for Trinidadian curry shrimp, Barbudian fish wata and a Black Mout Montserrat cocktail.


  • 200g skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into pieces
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbsp green seasoning
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 25g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 125g dried gungo peas, soaked and boiled, or 1 tin, drained
  • 75g pumpkin or squash, peeled and diced
  • 75g carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • 10g ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 scotch bonnet, halved, plus extra sliced to serve
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup or tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp gravy browning
  • 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 500g long-grain rice
  • chopped to make 2 tbsp coriander or chadon beni


  • STEP 1

    Put the chicken and lemon juice in a large bowl. Cover with cold water. Drain. Season with 2 tbsp of green seasoning and the soy.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oil in a deep pan until hot but not smoking. Add the sugar and cook until it starts to bubble – don’t stir. Add the chicken (leave the left-over marinade in the bowl) and brown, stirring to coat. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, adding some water if it starts to catch.

  • STEP 3

    Mix in the peas, pumpkin, carrots, garlic, thyme, ginger, onions, scotch bonnet, ketchup, gravy browning and remaining green seasoning, then the coconut milk and 600ml of water. If the liquid isn’t dark brown, add extra browning for colour. Season. Mix in the rice. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes over a medium heat or until the water has evaporated and the rice is tender. Serve topped with the coriander and some sliced scotch bonnet.


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