Rice with Pigeon Peas

So what’s all the fuss with my pigeon pea bushes?  Well, our traditional Christmas Eve dinner depends on them.  Oh yeah, I could buy the canned ones but nothing beats fresh ingredients for taste.  If you can’t get them fresh, try frozen.  You can find them at your local Spanish bodega (market).

A large cast aluminum or cast iron pot works best.  Remember to always keep in mind the rice to water ratio.  That will make the difference between uncooked rice and mushy mess.

Arroz con Gandules

Rice with Pigeon Peas


  • Olive oil
  • ½ cup diced smoked ham
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup chopped green peppers
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 Tbs of ”Alcaparrado”
  • 1 packet of “Sazon with coriander and annatto/ Sazon con cilantro and achiote”
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs of chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 8oz can “Spanish style tomato sauce”
  • 1 ½ cup fresh/frozen or 16oz can pigeon peas
  • 2 cups “Canilla rice”
  • 3 cups water
  • Adobo seasoning
  1.  Heat pot on med.  Coat bottom of the pot with olive oil.  Add smoked ham.  Sauté ham and stir occasionally until it starts to turn a little brown.  Add chopped peppers and onions and stir.  Cook until onions are translucent.  Add garlic, olives/capers, sazon, cilantro and oregano. Cook and stir until garlic is fragrant.  Add tomato sauce and pigeon peas, stir until bubbly.
  2. Add 2 cups of Canilla rice and stir mixture coating the rice.  Raise the temp to high and quickly add 3 cups of water (some people combine the water with broth or beer to give more flavor).  Stir the rice occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  Taste the liquid.  Sprinkle adobo to taste.  When the liquid bubbles, stir once scrapping the bottom of the pot, quickly cover and lower the temp to low.  Do not touch the pot or uncover until 20 minutes have gone by.  If you do, you will release the steam and the rice will not cook.
  3. After the 20 minutes, uncover, turn the rice and taste.  Make sure the rice is cooked all the way thru.  If not, cover and cook for another 10-20 min on low.  Enjoy!

What kind of traditional hand me down recipes do you make for the Holidays?

Linking to Transformation Thursday


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