Eat a Meal of Solidarity: Haiti’s Sos Pwa Rouj

Red Beans (Pwa Rouj)

As in a nightmare wrought by Quentin Tarantino, I watched the horrors unfolding in Haiti after the earthquake. Hands tied, unable to help in any major way, I turned to my pantry, memories of the lovely Haitian women who cooked for us stepping into my mind, smiling, images of hope for Haiti’s future.

Here’s a dish that soothes and nourishes.

To Haiti … in hopes that all will be fed.

Sos Pwa Rouj (Red Beans in Sauce)
Serves 8

2 cups small red beans, cleaned and picked over
½ small white onion
3 T. peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put beans and half onion in a large pot with water to cover the beans by two inches. Bring to a boil. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until beans are very tender. Drain, retaining the cooking liquid. There should be about 3 cups of liquid. If there is too much liquid, boil it down. If too little, add water to reach 3 cups of liquid. Take 1 ½ cups of cooked beans, add to blender or food processor along with 1 cup of bean liquid. Purée. Stir the purée in the remaining liquid and remaining whole beans.

Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan. Add the garlic and ½ cup of the parsley and cook briefly, making sure to avoid burning the garlic. Stir in the bean mixture, season with salt and about ½ t. of ground black pepper. Heat the sauce gently, until the raw garlic tastes is no longer apparent and the sauce is like the consistency of thick buttermilk. Stir in the remaining parsley and check for seasoning. Serve over white rice with griyo and hot sauce.


  1. Arthur Greenwald says:

    I’m sure you mean well and I respect your apparent expertise on Haitian food. But this posting strikes me as a shockingly inappropriate while everyone is focused on the recent earthquake and the tragic news that the suffering and deprivation will continue perhaps indefinitely. You should seriously consider taking this down until you can perhaps devise a way to turn your recipes and energy into some fundraising effort.


    1. You obviously know not that I spent three years in Haiti working in humanitarian aid and in a previous post that ran for several days last week I urged people to donate what they can to the charity of their choice. AND we work with a university that had a team on the ground when the earthquake struck. I notice you do not even have a Web page where I can see what you are doing, so don’t be so quick to judge. Eating with people is a form of community and my blog is not just about recipes. I will leave this post because most thinking people will realize that they are lucky to eat and maybe in the act of eating will be moved to remember (and help) the suffering people of Haiti, whom I know and you do not.


Comments are closed.