Go Back

Sos Pwa (Haitian Red Bean Gravy)

Sustainable to grow, easy to afford and tops for balancing blood sugar levels, pulses (that’s dried beans) are one of the best foods for personal and global sustainability. This recipe costs about $.50 a serving — most of it going for the coconut milk. Traditionally, this velvety, satisfying sauce is served over rice or cornmeal porridge. Untraditionally, adding a splash of hot sauce is a good idea.


  • 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
  • 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.