A wooden table with a blue plate, topped with rice, chicken and sliced red chilli

Trinidadian pelau

  • serves 6-8
  • Easy

Pelau is a traditional rice dish from Trinidad and Tobago, made with dried gungo peas, chicken, coconut milk and flavoured with earthy green seasoning. This recipe comes from Brixton restaurant, Caribe’


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



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


  • 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.

Discover more Caribbean recipe ideas here

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 458
  • Fat 14.1g
  • Saturates 8.4g
  • Carbs 66.1g
  • Sugars 6.8g
  • Fibre 4.7g
  • Protein 14.5g
  • Salt 0.8g