#eattheworld ~ InstantPot Pelau

This month our Eat the World group is heading somewhere warm and sunny - to Trinidad & Tobago. If you're looking for a break from this cold winter weather, come join us! This is a terrific group that virtually travels around the world together, enjoying traditional foods from various countries; it is hosted by Evelyne of CulturEatz

When I first ran a search on recipes for this country - I discovered a wide variety to pick from. They are influenced by a very diverse group of cultures including Asian, African, Oriental, Creole and European. I settled on making a Pelau - and the mix of herbs and spices, along with touches of sweet was a fascinating blend not typically found in this kitchen! This recipe was delicious and, cooks up easily and perfectly tender in the InstantPot. You can follow the link below to the original recipe for standard stove top cooking instructions. I've gotten spoiled with rice recipes and prefer to let my InstantPot do the work so I don't have to worry about uneven cooking or burning anything! 

You will be thinking tropical thoughts with this dish for sure - put an umbrella in your drink and you can enjoy a brief getaway, even just for a meal!
Check out all the wonderful Trinidad & Tobago dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!

Palatable Pastime: Chickpea and Potato Curry
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Chicken Curry, Trini-Style
Pandemonium Noshery: Trini Spiced Macaroni Pie
Sneha’s Recipe: Doubles Chickpea And Potato Curry With Urad Bara##EattheWorld
Making Miracles: Pelau
Kitchen Frau: Peanut Butter Stuffed Prunes
The Schizo Chef: Phulourie - Split Pea Fritters
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Trinidadian Stir Fry Shrimp
Cultureatz: Trinidadian Corn Pie Recipe
Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Trini Macaroni Pie

InstantPot Pelau adapted from African Bites


Chicken Marinade
1 1/2 - 2 pounds (4) skinless chicken thighs
1/4 teaspoon creole seasoning
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon chicken seasoning

Trinidad Pelau
¼ cup brown sugar
1 medium onion diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 small bay leaves
2 tablespoons Ketchup
2 cups uncooked brown rice
3 cups butternut squash, large dice
1 15.5 oz. can pigeon beans rinsed and drained
1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
1 teaspoon chicken seasoning
2 teaspoons creole spice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 14-oz can chicken broth
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (if needed)

  1. Combine chicken thighs with all other marinade seasonings in a tupperware or ziploc, rub seasonings into chicken and allow to rest in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Set InstantPot to saute, add the brown sugar. Stir ocassionally to prevent burning and allow it to melt. Saute the chicken in the caramelized sugar, brown on both sides about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside. Add diced onion and saute about 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Dump in all remaining ingredients (except salt and pepper), and stir gently to combine. Place chicken back in the pot, on top of the rice and veggie mixture.
  3. Set InstantPot to pressure cook for 22 minutes.
  4. Wait 10 minutes once cooking is complete and then release the steam valve.
  5. Remove chicken, stir rice mixture gently to combine. Discard the bay leaves. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. 
  6. Serve with rice / veggies underneath a chicken thigh (or pull the chicken meat off the bone, and either mix into mixture or spread over the rice mixture to serve).


  1. Looks like a great use for that can of pigeon peas I bought. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Butternut squash is a unique addition to pelau - Regardless, it makes a delicious one pot meal!


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