Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Arroz con Gandules

Arroz con Gandules is a Puerto Rican favorite. It’s also popular in other Latin American countries. As an added plus, arroz con gandules goes amazingly well with bistec encebollado.


Gandules or Guandu
depending on where you are from, are a small roundish bean that grows in a perennial bush.  There are three different types of Gandules (aka guandu): black, green and striped.

In researching the origins of this ancient staple food, I was amazed at the many uses.  Here are just a few:

1. They can be dried and ground into flour.

2. The hedge grows to be about 5’0″ .

3. When pruned the nodules release nitrogen which is good for other plants nearby.

4. They are high in potassium and are a good source of protein.

In Panama, where I grew up, the favorite way to eat arroz con gandules (guandu) is mixed in with a coconut rice.  Puerto Ricans make it a totally different way and I like their way better than the version I grew up with. Not that I don’t like coconut rice, I love it.

Puerto Ricans like to use sazon, bacon and chicken stock to flavor their arroz con gandules.

If it has bacon, how can it not be good, right? You can purchase Goya sazon at the store or try making your own.  Goya’s sazon is a great product and by the way, sazon is the generic word for seasoning in Spanish. I am including my own blend of sazon at the end of this post.

Because it is next to impossible to purchase fresh gandules where I live, I often seek out  a couple of different brands: Goya and El Jibarito. The quality of both products is consistently good. If you are making a small batch of rice, you only need to use 1/2 the can and you can freeze the rest in a container for later use. Make sure you freeze them in a little water so they don’t get freezer burnt.


To make your own sazon, follow this easy procedure:

  1. 1 Tbsp. of each ingredient below. Mix well and store in a sealed jar in a dark place.
  2. Kosher salt, turmeric, white pepper, ground coriander, ground annato *, garlic powder and oregano
  3. Mix well and store in a sealed jar in a dark place.

*Annato seeds come from the seeds of the achiote tree. They impart a reddish color on the food. You can find this spice in the ethnic section of your store or in specialty markets. Of course, you can also get it online!

Here are the visual step to make arroz con gandules:


Step 1: In a large dutch oven or pot with lid saute the onions and bacon in olive oil for about 5 minutes or until soft. (I like to use my Le Creuset Dutch oven for this.)
Step 2: Drain and rinse the gandules and then add to the pot.  Stir them into the onions and bacon for about 3 minutes.
Step 3: Add the sazón.
Step 4: Add the broth and water.
Step 5: Add the rice then turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn down the heat to medium and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes covered.
Step 6: Remove the cover and stir to fluff up the rice and serve.

If you love Latin food then you have to try some of my all time favorite dishes or bookmark them for later. Here are some of the most popular Latin American ethnic dishes, their history and ingredients to make at home.
Cuban Ropa Vieja: A true comfort food of slow cooked beef served over rice.
Recaito: This is the cilantro based ingredient used in many Latin soups, stews and black beans.
Sofrito: You need to have this base ingredient for Latin style beans and shredded chicken.
Latin Style or Cuban Black Beans: If you have never tried these you are missing out and they are so easy!
Tilapia Ceviche: A citrus cured fish or shrimp appetizer with some kick.

If you try any of these recipes leave me a comment.  I would love to hear from you!

Arroz con Gandules

This is a Puerto Rican favorite, present at almost every meal. The earthy taste of gandules (pigeon peas) is combined with bacon, sazón and rice for a perfect side dish.

  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp sazon (Goya brand)
  • 1 onion (small, diced)
  • 1/4 cup bacon (thick, diced)
  • 15.5 oz gandules (1 can (pigeon peas), drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp parsley (chopped)
  1. In a 6 qt pan on medium heat sauté onions and bacon in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the gandules and stir quickly for about 3 minutes. Immediately add the sazón, broth, water and rice.

  2. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cover. Cook for approximately 20-25 minutes. Fluff, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

To make your own sazon, follow this easy procedure:

  1. 1 Tbsp. of each ingredient below. Mix well and store in a sealed jar in a dark place.
  2. Kosher salt, turmeric, white pepper, ground coriander, ground annato *, garlic powder and oregano
  3. Mix well and store in a sealed jar in a dark place.

**You can freeze the guandules in a little water if you make a half recipe. 



This post first appeared on Analida's Ethnic Spoon, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

Arroz con Gandules

×

Subscribe to Analida's Ethnic Spoon

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription

×