This recipe for moro de guandules is a dish from the Dominican Republic featuring pigeon peas and rice cooked with vegetables in a coconut milk broth. It’s quick to prepare in just 30 minutes and you only need one pot. It’s great served as a side dish, or you can make it a vegan or vegetarian main dish by serving it stuffed inside a roasted sweet potato!
If there’s one thing that us vegans eat a lot of, it’s some combination of rice and beans. They’re a match made in heaven and always make a hearty, filling plant-based dish.
Not only that, but they make a great vector for whatever flavour profile you’re trying to create and depending on the seasonings that you add, you can come up with a completely different dish each time.
The most popular recipe on the blog by a long shot is this vegan jambalaya, which is basically just rice and beans with some Creole seasonings and totally different from, say, this curried rice and chickpeas dish that’s flavoured with turmeric and curry powder.
So today I have for you a new beans and rice recipe, and one that’s really simple to prepare: moro de guandules or pigeon peas and rice. Pigeon peas, if you are not familiar, are pulses that are used extensively in Indian, African and Caribbean cooking, and have a flavour like a mild, less earthy lentil. You can buy them canned or dried in Latin American or Asian markets or perhaps in the imported food aisle of a well-stocked supermarket.
For this moro de guandules recipe, pigeon peas are cooked with a few basic herbs, vegetables and rice in water and coconut milk, and all in one pot (easy cleanup, woohoo). Despite the coconut milk, this pigeon peas and rice dish is deliciously savoury, with just a hint of coconut in the background.
The interwebs told me that moro de guandules is served in the Dominican Republic as a side dish for large celebrations like Christmas. That’s probably why most recipes I checked called for four cups of rice – that’ll serve a crowd of people for sure!
I’ve reduced my recipe down to two cups, which still makes a big pot. So in order to turn it into more of a main dish, I roasted a few sweet potatoes and stuffed the pigeon peas and rice inside. It was delish, and served with a nice green salad, makes a great vegetarian or vegan whole meal.
- Half a medium onion, diced
- 1 medium Italian pepper / cubanelle or a small green bell pepper, diced
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated or finely minced
- 1 tablespoon finely minced cilantro, plus a small bunch for garnish
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- One can (15 oz / 425 ml) pigeon peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 ¾ cups (415 ml) water
- 1 cup (240 ml) coconut milk
- ¼ cup (60 ml) tomato sauce
- 2 cups (400 grams) long-grain rice (I used basmati, jasmine works too)
- Salt, to taste
- 6 roasted sweet potatoes (optional)
- Sriracha (optional)
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add a splash of water (you can use 1 tbsp oil if you prefer). Add the onion, pepper, celery, garlic, 1 tablespoon minced cilantro and oregano. Sautee for a couple of minutes until the onion and pepper are just about softened then add the pigeon peas and cook for a further minute until heated.
- Add the water, coconut milk and tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the rice and lower the heat to medium. Stir frequently until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice – about 5 minutes. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Allow to steam for 15 minutes, then lift the lid and give it a good stir. Cover again and steam for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and fluff the rice with a fork. Add salt to taste (I added about 1 teaspoon sea salt). You can serve it as is in a bowl or stuffed into roasted sweet potatoes. It’s tasty with some sriracha drizzled on top if you like a bit of spice. Garnish with the remaining fresh cilantro.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 394Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 229mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 10gSugar: 10gProtein: 10g
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