Rice with Black Mushrooms
Diri Ak Djon-Djon - Riz aux Djon-Djons
by Mirta Yurnet-Thomas
Diri ak djon-djon is native to the northern part of Haiti, where the djon-djon mushrooms are grown. Considered a delicacy, they are not used in everyday cooking. They are black, very small and have an inch-long inedible stem. When boiled, they release a gray-black coloring, giving this recipe and many others a distinctive aroma, flavor and color. This rice is usually served with a meat or fish dish. A cast-iron pot is preferable for cooking this dish.
2 cups djon-djon mushrooms (or European dried mushrooms)
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 shallot, sliced
2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed with cold water
2 teaspoons salt
1 (12-ounce) can cooked lima beans (or green peas)
1 tablespoon tritri (see glossary; optional)
1 to 2 thyme sprigs
1 green Scotch bonnet pepper
In small saucepan, soak mushrooms in 4 cups water for 10 minutes. Boil mushrooms on low heat for 10 minutes. Strain the mush rooms, reserving the liquid.
Add oil to a cast-iron pot on medium heat. Stir in garlic, onion, and shallot for 2 minutes. Add rice and stir for 3 minutes. Add mushroom water, salt, cloves, cooked lima beans, and tritri. Bring to a boil until water evaporates. Lower heat, stir rice, and place the whole Scotch bonnet pepper and thyme on top of the rice. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove hot pepper and thyme. Stir before serving.
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