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Haitian Rice and Beans – Diri Kole

Diri Kole is considered a mainstay in Haiti. It’s highly likely families will eat this delicious and inexpensive dish at least several times a week. There are many variations, but the dish is most often prepared with red beans.


  • 4 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups canned or prepared red beans (Washed, drained)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 leek, minced
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or water if you’d prefer it vegetarian)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt 
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • several sprigs of parsley and thyme tied together


Heat the oil in a 2 quart saucepan, then add onion and saute until soft. Add red beans, tomato paste, leek, garlic and salt to the mixture and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken broth (or water) rice and parsley and thyme sprigs to the mixture. Bring to a boil, then stir and cook for 5 minutes more.

Decrease the heat to a simmer; cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Do not stir. Once the rice is tender fluff with a fork, remove the sprigs of herbs and serve.

Young students in Leogane, Haiti
You can find more cultural recipes, stories and activities in the book The Cultured Chef: An International Cookbook for Kids