Sos Pwa Nwa (Haitian Black Bean Sauce)

A few weeks ago, I was in Les Cayes, Haiti and was lucky enough to get to try a pretty wide range of foods. Fried chicken that had first been salted and rubbed with limes, rich manioc stews, fried plantains with a spicy slaw and a cold Prestige at the beach – all of it was good. But the staple, white rice with a savory black bean sauce over which stews were ladled and chicken served, was the satisfying base of each meal.

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Last night’s leftover chicken needed a foundation, and so the Sun Bucket was used to make sos pwa nwa, a Haitian black bean sauce that varies in consistency but is always smooth and creamy, and white rice’s best friend.

The Sun Bucket started at 340 C (644 °F).

While the Sun Bucket was charging this afternoon, I soaked a one-pound bag of black beans in 6 C. of warm water for an hour. When the Sun Bucket was ready, I dumped the partially rehydrated beans and water into a big stock pot, put a lid on it, and let it come to a boil. It took the beans an hour to soften.

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As soon as the beans were done, I stuck a small pan with 1 C. medium grained white rice, 2 C. water, a pinch of salt, and 1 tsp. olive oil on the Sun Bucket. I put a lid on it, and in a short time, the rice had come to a boil. Moving the pot slightly off center, the rice simmered, while I got the beans prepared.

Using my food processor, I blended about 3/4 of the beans and most of the remaining water to for a nice, thick purée. The purée was passed through a fine-meshed sieve and added back to the rest of the beans. A can of coconut milk, a generous teaspoon each of salt and black pepper, a bouillon cube, and a pinch of dried, ground cloves were added.

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The bean mixture was returned to the Sun Bucket where it simmered and was heated through. After another 15 minutes, this delicious sauce was ready to be spooned over white rice.

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The Sun Bucket was used for over an hour and a half tonight and cooked 1.1 kg of food containing more than 2600 calories.

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