Sos Pwa Nwa (Black Bean Sauce or Sauce Pois) is one of the popular dishes or sauces in Haiti. It is a dish native to the Haitian people and you will be hard-pressed to find anyone that grew up in Haiti that has not tasted this sauce before. The sauce is vegan, very easy to make, and is best taken with white rice or mais moulin.
It is also important to mention that while the sauce can be made from other types of beans, the black beans are the widely accepted option for making the Sos Pwa Nwa (Black Bean Sauce).
The black beans give the sauce a creamy and savory flavor that endeared everybody to the sauce.
The black beans, also known as the black turtle beans, are native to the Latin American region.
The name turtle is reflective of its hard outer shell which bears resemblance to that of the reptile in hardness.
In the same vein with all other varieties of common beans, the black beans were introduced to the world from the Americas.
The beans are the cornerstone of many cuisines and food cultures in the world. Examples of such include Tamil cuisine, Indian cuisine, Mexican cuisine (Mexican black beans), and many others.
Black beans are one of the most nutritious varieties of beans in the world. It contains nutrients that help people regulate their blood sugar levels.
Despite having a considerable amount of carbohydrates, the beans don’t cause a spike in the quantity of blood sugar. Thus, black beans are healthy for diabetics as well as people looking to reduce the risk of heart disease.
The black beans also contain antioxidants that help protect the human eyes from eye defects caused by old age. These eye defects include cataracts and macular degeneration.
The antioxidants present in the black beans have been shown to reduce the risk of vision loss by 19%.
Authentic Haitian Sos Pwa Nwa
Depending on the region and the cook’s or chef’s preference, different spices are used.
However, without sacrificing the authentic flavor, our version is lighter, and is healthier as it does not contain Non-GMO products and the ingredients used in this recipe do not include MSG.
The instant pot is also used to prepare the Haitian black beans sauce / sos pwa nwa to cut down on cooking time.
If you’d like to cook the beans on the stove as it is most often done traditionally, you can certainly do so.
Simply wash the beans, then add in the water and cook for a couple hours or until very soft and tender on medium low heat.
Be mindful, you may have to constantly add water to the beans as it will evaporate as the beans cook.
Baking soda is often use as well when cooking the beans to speed up the cooking process, and also to help the beans expand.
Keep in mind that this is a preference, and it is only used when solely using the stovetop method.
The use of baking soda is not included in this recipe as it is not needed.
Sauce Pois Ingredients & Cooking Method
Our method for cooking black beans and preparing the sos pra nwa (sauce pois) is very simple.
You do not need to soak the beans prior to cooking them.
Not soaking the beans will create a rich, creamier cooking liquid, which is exactly what you want and need to make the sos pwa nwa, or Haitian black beans sauce (sauce pois).
The sauce pois make a delicious side dish to pair with your white rice or mais moulen.
Because of the richness we are looking for, we recommend that you skip the soaking process, and follow these easy steps:
- Black Beans: Sort and rinse the beans. We recommend adding the beans to a colander and remove any stones or debris. Rinse the beans well and place the beans in the instant pot.
- Water and Broth: Both are used to cook the beans, and the broth is used to season the beans.
- Pour the liquid on top of the beans and cook for 40 minutes by pressing on the beans option.
- Once the beans are cooked, allow the beans to natural release pressure for 10 minutes.
- Remove 2 cups of the cooked beans and set aside in a bowl, without the liquid.
- Green onions, bell pepper, more broth, olive oil, garlic cloves and whole cloves, salt and cumin.
- Blend the beans from the instant pot with the liquid until liquify. For this, we recommend using a good quality blender. We used our Vitamix to blend the beans until silky smooth. We blended our beans to the highest level (10) for about 1 minute and 45 seconds.
- Use a mortar and pestle, or food chopper or food grinder to crush or grind the whole cloves and garlic cloves.
- On the instant pot, select sauté and adjust the time to 30 minutes. In the instant pot add in the oil, when heated, add in the garlic and cloves.
- Stir and cook the garlic and cloves for 30 seconds. Then add the green onions. Then add in the blended bean sauce, 4 cups of vegetable broth, salt, and cumin. Mix well. Press cancel on the instant pot, then select sauté again and adjust the timer to 5 minutes. Close the instant pot with the lid and turn the knob to sealing. When the timer goes off, carefully quick release.
- Serve with white rice or mais moulin. Enjoy.
Traditionally cumin is not a spice that’s used when making sos pwa. However, due to its robust taste, strong aroma, and distinctive flavor, it help plays a role in creating that authentic flavor we love in sos pwa nwa.
How To Store Sos Pwa Nwa (Black Bean Sauce)
As with many dishes, you can store the Sos Pwa Nwa (Black Bean Sauce) by freezing or refrigerating. The duration of the storage determines which of the two options you use.
Whether you are refrigerating or freezing, these are the steps involved in storing your Sos Pwa Nwa (Black Bean Sauce / sauce pois);
Allow the sauce to cool
You need to ensure that your dish is cool or at least, at room temperature before transferring it into the freezer or refrigerator.
Use Safe Containers
If you are going to freeze your sauce, you may want to transfer it into a freezer safe container before putting it into the deep freezer.
Seal and Label
You must seal the Sos Pwa Nwa, especially if you are freezing for a long period, say 3 to 6 months. You can also label the container, showing the date you prepared it.
To reheat, simply allow the sauce to thaw out if frozen. If not, simply reheat in the microwave or over the stove. If the sauce is too thick, adda small amount of water (as needed) to thin the sauce out.
Serve as desired and enjoy.
The black beans sauce is best eaten with white rice, as previously mentioned. But you can also enjoy it with a side of Haitian legume along with your white rice.
More Haitian Recipes To Enjoy
If you loved this Haitian sos pwa nwa recipe, we recommend trying one of these recipes next.
It warms our hearts to see the recipes you make from this site, and we’d especially would love to know if you tried this any of the recipes mentioned.
Also, we would appreciate if could give it a star rating below!
How To Make Haitian Sauce Pois
- Instant Pot
- 2 ½ Cups Black Beans Rinsed
- 4 Cups Water
- 8 Cups Vegetable Broth Divided; Low Sodium
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 5 Whole Cloves
- 2 Tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1 Tsp. Cumin
- Start by sorting and rinsing the beans. We recommend adding the beans to a colander and remove any stones or debris. Rinse the beans well and place the beans in the instant pot.Add 4 cups water and 4 cups vegetable broth. Close the Instant Pot with the lid, turn the knob to sealing. Select "Beans" and adjust the timer to 40 minutes.Allow the beans to natural release the pressure for 10 minutes.Remove 2 cups of the cooked beans and set aside in a bowl, without the liquid.
- Blend the beans from the Instant pot with the liquid until liquify. For this step, we recommend using a good quality blender. We used our Vitamix to blend the beans until silky smooth. We blended our beans to the highest level (10) for about 1 minute and 45 seconds.Use a mortar and pestle, or food chopper or food grinder to crush or grind the whole cloves and garlic cloves. Set it aside.On the instant pot, select sauté and adjust the time to 30 minutes. In the instant pot add in the oil, when heated, add in the garlic and cloves mixture. Stir and cook the garlic and cloves for 30 seconds. Then add the green onions.Next, add in the blended bean sauce, 4 cups of vegetable broth, salt, and cumin. Mix well. Close the instant pot with the lid and turn the knob to sealing. Press cancel on the instant pot, then select sauté again and adjust the timer to 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, carefully quick release.Serve with white rice or mais moulin. Enjoy.