Martine’s Sticky Rice

Sticky rice is a classic of Haitian cuisine. The recipe is simple and the ingredients are easy to find. 

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups basmati or jasmine rice
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red beans
  • 10 cups of water
  •  4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  •  ½ teaspoons clove powder
  •  ½ medium onions, diced
  •  1 whole hot pepper (scotch bonnet or habanero) * optional *
  •  2 cloves garlic
  •  1 to 2 chicken broth cubes
  •  1 teaspoon salt and pepper or to taste
  •  1 sprig of fresh thyme
  •  1 sprig of fresh parsley


In a large saucepan with lid, bring 2L of salted water to a boil and boil 1 1/2 cups of red beans between 45 min to 1 hour. Add water as needed if the amount of liquid decreases to less than one liter during cooking.

When the beans start to crack or are tender enough, drain them in a colander

***** SAVE THE COOKING WATER in reserve to prepare the rice.

Sauté the beans in 3 tablespoons of oil for about 2 minutes over medium heat.

Add the onions, crushed garlic, chicken broth cube, ground cloves. Stir gently to bring out the flavors for about 1 minute.

Then add the cooking water from the beans (If there isn’t enough, you can add a little tap water for the equivalent of 2 cups in total).

When the water starts to boil, pour the uncooked rice into the water using a ladle or a large spoon. Gently spread the rice in the water *** BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER STIR

Add the thyme, parsley and whole hot pepper *** DO NOT BREAK THE PEPPER.

Reduce the heat to medium, until the rice has absorbed most of the cooking water.

Then put the rice on low heat.

Add a tablespoon of oil.

Cover the rice and cook for about 20 minutes or until the rice is ready.

Bon appétit!

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