Arroz Congri is a rice & bean dish that is a staple in Cuban and other Latin American cuisine! This recipe was created by Stella Navarro-Kim at @stellanspice with Mahatma® Jasmine White Rice. Find everything you need in her recipe video and instructions below!
Soak the dry black beans in water over night. You may also use pinto beans.
The next day, drain the water and give the beans a quick rinse. Add them to a pot with fresh water (about 5 cups) and bring it to a boil. Add the bay leaves and reduce to a gentle boil for about 1 hour uncovered. Add water as needed.
Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
When the beans have been boiling for about 45 minutes, start frying the bacon. Remove the bacon and set it aside. Keep bacon oil in the pot.
Saute the onions for 1-2 minutes. If you are using green bell pepper, add them at this time as well. Add the garlic & Mahatma® Jasmine White Rice. Sauté for another 1-2 minutes, making sure each grain of rice is coated in the bacon fat and turns golden & slightly puffy.
The black beans are ready when the water is dark and thick and you’re able to easily squish the beans between your fingers. Add the beans, bean water, & salt to the rice. I used about 1 tsp of salt. Add enough water to cover the rice by about an inch. You can add more water if needed.
Note: if using cumin and Mexican oregano, add them now. If using canned black beans, add the entire can directly into the rice and an additional 1-2 cups of water.
Cook over medium heat uncovered until enough water is absorbed/evaporates and there is a thin layer of water on top. Reduce the heat to low and cover for 20 minutes.
Turn off the heat then fold in the bacon pieces while fluffing the rice and releasing some steam.
Best served with any Cuban meat dish and tostones (fried plantains).
Long grain rice – The best rice for this recipe is long grain rice, we suggest using our Mahatma® Jasmine White Rice for its fluffy texture & aroma. However, traditional white or brown rice can also be used.
Black beans– We suggest you use dry beans, but you can use canned beans as well. The biggest difference is that the canned beans will not achieve a dark color for the rice, so if you want the rice to be dark you will need to use dry beans.
Aromatics– You may use a sofrito, which consists of sautéed onions, garlic, peppers, and seasoning. But for this recipe, we are only using onions and garlic, however you can add green bell peppers if you want. A couple bay leaves are also used when boiling the beans.
Bacon– A lot of the flavor in this dish will come from the bacon! Save the bacon oil to saute the onions and garlic.
Seasoning– All you really need is salt, but you may add a little cumin and Mexican oregano.
This popular Latin American dish may be referred to by various names, both arroz congri and Moros and Cristianos, but it depends where you are from! To some, this is Moros y Cristianos (using black beans) and congri uses pinto beans. However, this may change from household to household and country to country.