Arroz congri is a Cuban dish made of red beans and rice. Traditionally, the rice and beans are cooked together which gives the rice a darker color.
Arroz congri may be cooked with fried pork, with the rice absorbing some of the pork fat while it cooks. Other additional ingredients may be added across Cuba, often depending on the family recipe, such as chorizo.
Origin & Cultural Significance
It is believed that the recipe for arroz congri originated in Africa; its name combines “congo” with “riz” which translates to rice in Haitian Creole.
Arroz congri may be served as a dish alone, but it may also be found as a side dish at large parties or special events, to be eaten with traditional Cuban meat dishes, such as vaca frita.
Similar dishes can be found in cuisines across Africa and Central and South America. Moros y cristianos is a popular Cuban dish of Spanish origin, this dish is prepared in a similar fashion to congri but contains black beans instead of red.
- Dried black beans - 2 cups
- Water - 5 cups
- Onion - 1
- Bell pepper - 1
- Garlic - 4 cloves
- Cumin - 1 tbsp
- Cilantro - 1 tbsp
- Oregano - 1 tsp
- Rice - 5 cups
- Bay leaf - 1
- Lime wedges (optional, to serve)
- Salt - to taste
- Rinse the dried red beans under running water to ensure that all of the beans are thoroughly washed and remove any debris.
- Place the washed red beans into a large saucepan.
- Cover the beans with water, with about an inch of extra water above them.
- Soak the red beans in the saucepan of water for 2 hours, until they have softened.
- In a large pan, sautee the bell pepper, garlic and onion together until they have softened and started to brown.
- If desired, add the pork (or alternative meat) to the pan and fry with the vegetables.
- Add the uncooked rice to the pan and stir while the meat cooks to coat it in the oils.
- Add the seasoning to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for approximately 3 minutes.
- Add the softened beans with the water from the saucepan to the pan with the vegetables.
- Bring the pan to boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the rice is tender.
- Serve the congri in a bowl with extra cilantro and lime juice (optional).
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 116mgCarbohydrates: 83gFiber: 12gSugar: 3gProtein: 18g