Moros y Cristianos
(Cuban black beans and rice)
Image by eliazar
Congrí, or congrí oriental, is a variation using red beans that is popular in eastern Cuba. It shows the influence of nearby Haiti, where it is known as riz et pois, or diri ak pwa in French Creole dialect.
4 to 6 servings
- Olive oil -- 1/4 cup
- Onion, finely chopped -- 1
- Bell pepper, finely chopped -- 1
- Garlic, minced -- 3 to 4 cloves
- Tomato sauce -- 1/2 cup
- Black beans, cooked -- 2 cups
- Thyme --1 teaspoon
- Oregano -- 2 teaspoons
- Bay leaf -- 1
- Rice -- 1 cup
- Water or stock -- 1 3/4 cups
- Red wine vinegar -- 1 tablespoon
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium flame. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, beans and herbs and simmer for 5-10 minutes to meld flavors.
- Stir in the rice, stock or water and vinegar and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let set covered for another 5-10 minutes. Then stir lightly with a fork and serve.
- Congrí: Use red kidney beans in place of the black beans.
- Haitian Diri ak Pwa: Use butter instead of olive oil and red kidney beans in place of black beans. A little hot chile pepper (Scotch bonnet) is also usually added. Eliminate the vinegar.
- Dominican Arroz con Habichuelas: Use small red beans in place of the black beans.
- Substitute pimentos for the chopped bell pepper if you like. Add at the same time as the tomato sauce.
- Add 1 teaspoon ground cumin to the onions as you sauté if you like.