Let’s explore the flavors of Haitian dishes. Djon Djon, a flavorful black mushroom rice dish, Griot, tender pieces of marinated and fried pork, and Akra, a savory fritter made with grated malanga and spices, are among the most popular Haitian dishes.
Each dish is bursting with distinct flavors that make Haitian cuisine a sensory delight.
History of Haitian Dishes
Haitian cuisine is a vibrant and flavorful synthesis of African, European, and Caribbean influences that have evolved over time.
The cuisine reflects the country’s history, with ingredients and techniques reflecting its African roots, French colonial past, and indigenous traditions.
Their menus are known for its bold and spicy flavors, as well as its inventive use of herbs, spices, and local ingredients like plantains, yams, cassava, and coconut.
The meals from Haiti are definitely worth trying, whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious traveler looking to explore new culinary experiences.
Haitian dishes, with their rich history and diverse influences, are sure to leave an indelible impression on anyone who tries them.
Haitian Cuisine Review
LA CAYE is a Haitian restaurant and bar located in New York City’s Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood that serves some of my favorite Haitian dishes.
Allow me to share with you about my dining experience and some of the Haitian dishes I sampled.
“Tasty Haitian food, set inside a lovely Haitian Restaurant”
Djon Djon is also known as Black Rice. It is a traditional Haitian dish made with shrimp and soft crabs. There are, however, vegetarian options for the dish.
The black mushrooms are responsible for the rice dish’s exotic black color. However, the black rice image below does not include seafood and is therefore suitable for vegetarians.
I attempted to make black rice several years ago using dried mushrooms I received from a Haitian friend. Despite the fact that I skipped an important step in her recipe, it turned out better than expected.
For black rice recipes, check out “Everything Haitian” and “Kreyol cuisine”
At almost all Haitian restaurants and events, Griot or fried pork is served. Furthermore, Griot and fried green plantain are like a horse and carriage, you can’t have one without the other.
As a side dish, fried green plantains are often served in most Haitian households.
Akra is made from a root vegetable called “coco” in Jamaica; in Haiti, it is often called malanga.
It is grated and formed into a submarine-shaped patty and fried. However, eating Akra for the first time reminds me of eating deep-fried hash brown potatoes. It is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside with a unique flavor
Check out this recipe at haitian-recipes.com
Legume': Haitian Dishes # 3
Legume’ is a vegetable-meat stew. The main ingredients are eggplant, carrots, cabbage, sweet peppers, lima beans and Soft crab and/or some type of meat.
They are stewed to a delicious rich consistency an is often served over rice. However, the one I ordered at La Caye was meatless.
For the traditional Legume’ recipe, check out “My Haitian Kitchen” blog for this and other Haitian recipes.
Other Haitian Favorites
Fried Green Plantain
Fried green plantains are one of my favorite foods. You can be sure that it will be served at most Haitian parties or Sunday dinners in most Haitian homes.
Haitian Sós Pwa
Sauce Pois, a pureed black bean sauce, is another popular Haitian dish that is often served with rice.
The dish is also known as Sós Pwa Nwa or Sós Pwa Wóuj. But, regardless of how it’s spelled, the dish is bursting with flavor.
Haitian cuisine is extremely flavorful. However, the smell and taste are distinctively Haitian.
I can boldly say that only Haitians who grew up in Haiti and spends most of their life cooking, is capable of preparing authentic Haitian meals.
Other Haitian Restaurants
Many Caribbean cuisines can be found in New York City, particularly in Brooklyn.
I also recommend the following restaurants for authentic Haitian dishes:
Kreyole Flavor 1738 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11210
Dana Caribbean Cuisine 2026 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11210
I visited this restaurant some years later after writing this blog and decided to add it to my list of must-visit Haitian restaurants.
Zamni is a restaurant in Brooklyn, New York City. There is a bar with a live band that makes the atmosphere both relaxing and energizing.
I ordered black rice, legumes, and griot from them. The food was wonderful. You should, however, try their soursop juice with booze. This was my first time mixing alcohol with soursop juice, and it was a hit.
You will also love my other restaurant reviews. Check out my other blogs below:
26 thoughts on “Top Haitian Dishes: Djon Djon, Legume, Black Rice, Griot, Akra.”
These are some some very unattractive looking food. But i guess they taste good. I Have never had Haitian food. But this post is persuading me to be interested in trying.
Everything sounds so good…gotta check out this spot when I visit NY. 🇭🇹
Love Haitian food. Hope you get to check out La Caye. Also check out this Restaurant in Brooklyn: https://www.zanminyc.com/ Heard a lot of great reviews and will definitely be visiting soon.
I want to thank you for an introduction to Haitian food. It’s left me rather hungry. I’m actually in the process of making dinner and now it seems rather bland in comparison, therefore, ‘no thanks’ there. Haha
Lol. GWT, Hope you get to try Haitian dishes someday; you will love them.
I have never had Haitian food. However, I am intrigued to try the legume. Thanks for all the mind opening ideas to try Haitian. Always an experience to try foods from different cultures.
Glad my blog on Haitian dishes inspired you in some way to want to try them. Hope you get to try a Haiatian dish someday.
Looks fantastic- I can honestly say I have never tried Haitian food before- but it looks great! I bet the flavor combinations are fabulous.
They are definitely delicious, Deanna, Hope you get to try them someday.
Wow… these dishes are new to me. They look interesting tho. Thank you for sharing.
You are welcome Fadima.
All those dishes look and sound delicious. Plus so ethnic!!
Thank you, Vaishali.
Haitian Black rice was my favorite dish when I visited Haiti. Goodness it’s been years. I have not been bold to attempt the dish here in the states.
Katie, it takes a special kind of skill to replicate Haitian dishes, but it is easier than we think. Hope you get to try black rice again; one of my favorites.
Both the Djon Djon and Akra seem like something I would enjoy eating or even trying to cook. I’m always cooking something new. Thanks for sharing your Haitian cuisine journey.
Thank you, Nile. I hope you get to visit a Haitian restaurant or try to make them someday. The recipe links are on this blog.
These are some very interesting dishes, and without any meat or dairy. Thanks for sharing!
Haitian dishes are unique and interesting. Thank for visiting Pedja.
Wow these dishes are very interesting. I’ve never had Haitian foods before but I’m pretty sure that I will enjoy it because I love rice 🍚. I would like to try their rice dishes. Thanks for sharing!
Haitian black rice or Djon Djon is one of my favorites. I am sure you will love the flavor too, Janice.
Wow, I would LOVE to try some of these!!
I hope to get to try these Haitian dishes someday, Catia. Thanks for the comment.
Wow this all sounds very flavour. I am keen to give it a try
Thanks for dropping by, Ramona.