National Dish of Haiti – Diri ak Djon Djon
|dried Djon Djon (dried black mushrooms)||2 cups|
|cloves garlic (chopped)||2|
|jumbo shrimps (peeled and de-veined)||12|
|shallots (finely chopped)||2|
|green pepper (roughly chopped)||1|
|salted lard (cubed)||¼ cup|
|large onion (peeled and finely diced)||1|
|chicken / beef stock cubes||2|
|pigeon peas||1 ½ cups|
|black pepper||1 tsp.|
|pinch cayenne pepper||1|
|whole hot pepper||1|
Diri ak Djon Djon is a popular Haitian rice dish, also called Black Mushroom Rice. Its key ingredient is a type of black mushroom native to Northern Haiti. This mushroom forms a black stock when boiled and gives food a unique color, aroma, and flavor. The mushrooms are considered a delicacy and are not used in everyday cooking.
Directions for Preparing Diri ak Djon Djon
- Boil five cups of water in a small saucepan.
- Add the dried Djon Djon mushrooms to the boiling water and turn off the heat.
- Allow the mushrooms to soak in the hot water for thirty (0:30) minutes.
- Transfer the liquid and mushrooms to a blender and blend roughly, then strain through a fine strainer.
- Collect and preserve the black liquid stock.
- Discard the solids.
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil and lard together.
- When the lard melts, add the shallots, onions, peas, garlic, green pepper, and shrimps.
- Sauté together for about five (0:05) minutes.
- Add the black mushroom stock to the saucepan, together with the cloves.
- Season with hot pepper, thyme, salt, cayenne and black pepper.
- Bring to a boil.
- Rinse the rice in water and then add it to the pan.
- Stir frequently for two (0:02) minutes.
- Cook uncovered until the rice absorbs the liquid.
- Stir in the butter.
- Reduce the heat, cover the pan and cook for fifteen (0:15) minutes more. Serve Diri ak Djon Djon with meat or fish.
Haiti is very famous for its creole cuisine (which is related to Cajun cuisine), and its soup joumou. Haiti is also known globally for its rum Barbancourt which is internationally renowned, and the most popular alcoholic beverage in the country.