Ingredients: (4 to 6 servings)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 chicken, cut up (about 2½ to 3 pounds), or substitute Quorn, for vegetarians
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1½ cup gungo (=pigeon) peas, soaked overnight in salt water (last option: from a can)
2 cups rice (do not use instant rice)
3 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bunch of spring onions, chopped including the greens
2 stock cubes
1 scotch bonnet hot pepper (or hot sauce to taste)
Preparation: Heat the oil in a heavy pot or skillet. With the heat on high, add the sugar and let it caramelize until it is almost burned, stirring constantly. Add the chicken (or Quorn) and stir until all the pieces are covered with the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium, add the rice, onion, salt and pepper and fry, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Drain the gungo peas, add them to the pot and "stir fry" them as well. Then add the water, coconut milk, stock cubes and scotch bonnet/hot sauce . Reduce the heat and simmer on low fire, covered, for 30 minutes or till the rice is done. The pelau should be moist at the end of the cooking time.
You can vary by using coconut cream instead of coconut milk (add less water) or adding vegetables like squash and carrot to the pelau.