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
Heat oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, bell pepper, onion, and ¼ cup (50 mL) each of the cilantro and olives, and 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the chilies; sauté 3-5 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; sauté 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, remaining cilantro, olives, and chilies in large bowl. Serve rice with coconut mixture.
• Chilies contain capsaicin which can burn your skin. Wear rubber gloves when handling the chilies. For less heat, remove seeds from the chilies before chopping.