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Haitian Red Bean Gravy (Sos Pwa)

Traditionally, this creamy, satisfying sauce is served over rice or cornmeal porridge. Untraditionally, adding a splash of hot sauce is a good idea.
Servings 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 scallions chopped, plus additional for garnish, if desired
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves plus additional for garnish, if desired
  • 1 15- ounce can red beans rinsed and drained or 2 cups cooked red beans
  • 2/3 cup reserved bean cooking liquid or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk preferably full fat
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.


  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic and scallions and sauté, stirring occasionally until the vegetables become tender, burnished and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add the thyme and the beans, and bean cooking liquid or vegetable broth.
  • Purée the beans until they’re very smooth, using an immersion blender (or transfer to a food processor or blender), for 3 to 5 minutes. For extra smoothness, strain the mixture through a sieve. Return the beans to the saucepan. Swirl in the coconut milk.
  • Heat through and reduce over medium heat about about 10 minutes, until the flavors meld and the bean sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Season generously with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Finish with a scattering of extra thyme leaves and snipped scallions if you like.