Caribbean Coconut and Pigeon Pea Rice
main dishes

Caribbean Coconut and Pigeon Pea Rice

A variation of the traditional Dominican dish known as Moro de Gandules con Coco, this creamy, risotto-like coconut and pigeon pea entrée gets an added hit of flavor from sweet potatoes and a spicy topping of toasted coconut, Scotch bonnet chilies, green olives and cilantro.
  • 20m

    prep time

  • 40m

    Cook Time

  • 311


  • 18



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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pimento-stuffed green olives, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped Scotch bonnet chilies, divided Substitutions available
    • habanero chilies, divided
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Oregano, Ground Mediterranean
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Smoked Paprika
  • 1 cup medium grain white rice
  • 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) pigeon peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (13.66 ounces) Thai Kitchen® Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup toasted flaked coconut


  • Heat oil in 4-quart Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, bell pepper, onion and 1 tablespoon each of the cilantro and olives, and 1 teaspoon of the chiles; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until bell pepper and onion are softened and sweet potatoes are lightly browned. Add rice, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, smoked paprika and sea salt; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until rice begins to look translucent.

  • Stir in pigeon peas, coconut milk, water and tomato sauce. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Uncover and let stand another 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.

  • Mix toasted coconut, the remaining cilantro, olives and chilies in small bowl. Serve rice with coconut mixture.

Nutrition information (per Serving)



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