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This low-country twist on the traditional Southern side Carolina red rice (a.k.a. Charleston red rice) uses smoky sausage for bacon.

"Gullah is a term used to describe a distinct group of African Americans living in the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia. Gullah people are the only group of African Americans that have managed to preserve much of their West African language, culture, and cuisine," says Kardea, who is from a small island on the coast of Charleston called Wadmalaw.

Her grandmother taught her how to cook Gullah dishes that were passed down from her mother.


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 1 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 pound smoked pork sausage, finely diced
  • Two 6-ounce cans tomato paste
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 cups uncooked parboiled rice


Serves: 6


Preheat the oven to 350˚F. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, pepper and sausage and saute 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, sugar and pepper.

Rinse rice until water becomes slightly clear. (This removes the starch.)

Stir rice into the tomato mixture and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and spread in an even layer. Add just enough water (about 2 cups) to cover the top of the rice. Tightly cover with a lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes without uncovering the baking dish. Remove from then oven, fluff the rice, then cover and return to oven for 10 minutes more.