Arroz con Guandules, Rice With Pigeon Peas

moro con coco

Dominican Arroz con Guandules
Indulge your taste buds in the savory delight of Moro Guandules, also known as Arroz con Guandules, a culinary gem that Puerto Ricans affectionately call "Arroz con Gandules." This delectable rice dish isn't just a year-round delight; it takes center stage in the heart of the traditional Dominican Christmas menu, complementing the festive feast that includes a succulent roast pig, flavorful pasteles en hoja, and a refreshing potato salad.

Moro de Guandules is more than just a meal; it's a celebration of tradition, a symphony of tastes that dance on your palate. The aromatic blend of rice and pigeon peas (gandules) creates a harmony that captivates the senses, making it a must-have at any festive gathering.

Its presence on the Christmas table is a testament to the cherished moments shared with family and friends. The dish not only tantalizes the taste buds but also weaves together the threads of cultural identity, connecting you to the heart of Dominican tradition.

Whether you're preparing for a festive occasion or simply craving a taste of the Caribbean, Moro Guandules is the perfect culinary adventure. Unlock the secrets of this delightful recipe and embark on a flavorful journey that pays homage to the traditions of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Share the joy, share the taste – Moro Guandules is more than just a dish; it's an invitation to savor the essence of cultural heritage with every delicious bite.

Arroz con Guandules ingredients

more de guandules

Sin o Con coco

Arroz con Guandules (Pigeon Peas Rice)

The recipe I share uses freshly boiled guandules, just as our grandmothers and mothers did when preparing "moro." I recommend preparing this rice with pigeon peas like this 100% because its flavor is exquisite and unique. However, if you find yourself in a time crunch and need something quick, or if you prefer to use canned guandules, you can also follow these same steps. Just skip the time for boiling the guandules.

For the amount of rice specified in the recipe, I recommend using two cans of guandules.

1 ¼ pound cooked fresh pigeon peas/ guandules (approx. 4-5 cups) or 2 cans of pigeon peas
3-4 cups hot water
1 pound ham chopped (optional)
2½ lbs. rice (5 cups)
¼ cup of oil
½ cup of Dominican Sazón or (1 minced onion, 4 cloves of garlic mashed, 1 bell pepper or cubanelle, 
½ teaspoon of saffron or annatto)
5 sprigs of cilantro and two of coriander
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 chicken bouillon
1 envelope of sazón Goya
1 tablespoon of capers (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon vinegar or juice of one bitter orange
1 banana tree leaf to cover rice (optional)

1. Precook the guandules until they are tender: This process takes about 30-40 minutes in a regular pot. Season the pigeon peas with 1 clove of garlic, ¼ teaspoon of oregano, 1 onion, or 2 spoons of Dominican Sazón. Cook with enough water to cover the peas and maintain that amount throughout the cooking time until they are tender. Omit this step if using canned gandules.

2. In a 6-quart pot, heat the oil over moderate heat, sauté the ham until slightly browned, add half a cup of water, and boil for 2 minutes. Then, add ½ cup of Sazón or chopped onion, peppers, and garlic. Add tomato paste, bouillon, and vinegar, and sauté for 1-2 minutes over medium-high heat.

3. Add the guandules and salt (approximately 2 teaspoons). Cook over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Rinse the rice well. When the mixture of guandules and sofrito begins to boil, add the rice and the previously boiled water cup by cup until you have enough to just cover the rice. Add the coriander and cilantro. Leave to cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. See Notes for water substitute to make Moro con Coco (Rice with Coconut Milk).

4. Cover and continue cooking over low heat. Occasionally stir the rice to prevent it from sticking to the sides. When done, the rice should be light and fluffy.

Yield: 8 servings. It could serve more depending on the quantity served. You could also use 3 pounds (6 cups) for this recipe or divide it to make less.

a) In step # 4, cover with a previously washed banana leaf, and then place the pot cover on top of it. This gives it a unique and delicious taste. I learned this from a Dominican chef on Univision.

b) It is preferable to use fresh guandules because they taste better, but if you do not have them at hand, you can use canned pigeon peas. For this recipe, I use 2 cans.

c) To make Moro de Guandules con coconut (Rice with pigeon peas and coconut milk), a recipe originally from the Dominican province of Samaná - substitute 2 cups of water for 2 cups of coconut milk. You can use canned coconut milk.  This rice goes well with Pescado con Coco, (Fish Cooked in Coconut milk), you can find this unique fish dish in my blog here.

d) Two cups of rice are equivalent to 1 pound of rice. For each cup of rice, use two cups of water or stewed beans with water.

arroz con guandule y pernil

moro de guandules dominican

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For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. - 1 Timothy 4:4.

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