The first time I made Arroz Con Gandules – Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas was with a friend of mine who was from Puerto Rico. It was my birthday present and he was going to teach me how to cook a traditional Puerto Rican dinner. As I watched him chop the onion, he though his story of how he learned to cook from his mother when he was a child. It’s amazing how when you start cooking with people they open up about their memories of food and how it makes them feel.
Arroz Con Gandules – Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas
Today, people see cooking as a hobby where 30 years ago it was a daily activity to prepare dinner for your family. The average household cooks for 30 minutes a night where 30 years ago 150 minutes. As much as we would like to cook every night, most families rely on take out. It becomes a special occasion when the whole family cooks today. Just like this day on my birthday when I learned how to make Arroz Con Gandules.
As my friend shared his memories of making this dish with his family as a young boy, I now have my own memory of this dish. It has been passed down to me as a birthday gift for making one of my favorite rice recipes that is packed with flavor. Now I pass it down to you and hope you enjoy making memories by cooking Arroz Con Gandules with your family.
- 2½ cups long grain white rice
- 5 cups water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 chopped oinion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons sofrito ( I do the Goya version)
- ¼ cup chopped bacon
- ¼ cup chopped ham
- 2 tablespoons spanish olives
- 1 can diced tomatoes drained
- 1 can green pigeon peans, drained
- 2 envelope sazon with annato
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Start by heating the oil in a pot at high heat, and when the oil is nice and hot, add the bacon and chopped onions.
- When the bacon is cooked but not crisp, add the ham.
- Once that has browned, add the Sofrito. This must stir fry all together for about 1 minute.
- After that has been done add the water, then the peas, the olives, the diced tomatoes, and all the spices, including the envelope of sazon.
- At that point, add salt and pepper to taste. Bring this up to a boil then stir in rice.
- Once it has began to boil again, lower heat and stir 1 more time, then cover.
- Let this cook for about 30 - 40 minutes on a low heat setting, stirring occasionally (every 10 minutes) until the rice is tender. Serve.